HEK 293 cells are a transformed cell line derived from human embryonic kidney preparations. Because they are experimentally transformed, HEK 293 cells are not a particularly good model for normal kidney cells, but they are easy to culture and transfect, and are commonly used as a model for examining a transfected receptor. They have several intact signaling pathways that can be exploited, particularly ERK, p38 MAPK and JNK pathways, which can be used to monitor specific transfected receptor-mediated signaling events. The cells are less useful for examining PI3-kinase mediated signaling, as they typically display constitutively active Akt.
Warning: these cells contain adenovirus and should be handled with care.
Click here for uses in detecting cell signaling events.
Click here for recommendations on cell handling.