The need for new safe and efficacious therapies has led to an increased focus on biologics produced in mammalian cells. The human cell line HEK293 has bio-synthetic potential for human-like production attributes and is currently used for manufacturing of several therapeutic proteins and viral vectors. Despite the increased popularity of this strain we still have limited knowledge on the genetic composition of its derivatives. Here we present a genomic, transcriptomic and metabolic gene analysis of six of the most widely used HEK293 cell lines. Changes in gene copy and expression between industrial progeny cell lines and the original HEK293 were associated with cellular component organization, cell motility and cell adhesion. Changes in gene expression between adherent and suspension derivatives highlighted switching in cholesterol biosynthesis and expression of five key genes (RARG, ID1, ZIC1, LOX and DHRS3), a pattern validated in 63 human adherent or suspension cell lines of other origin.