Cell Authentication Matters

“Evidence suggests that up to one-third of tumor cell lines being used in scientific research are affected by inter- or intraspecies cross-contamination or have been wrongly identified, thereby rendering many of the conclusions doubtful if not completely invalid.” — Lancet Oncology, vol. 2, July 2001, p. 393


Cell Authentication Matters

Cell lines from ATCC have been thoroughly tested and authenticated, so you can be certain of their identity. If, however, your cells come from a less than reliable source or if they’ve been sharing an incubator with other cell lines for a while, it may be time to perform an identity check.

 Authentication graph

ATCC uses morphology, karyotyping, and PCR based approaches to confirm the identity of human cell lines and to rule out both intra- and interspecies contamination. These include an assay to detect species specific variants of the cytochrome C oxidase I gene (COI analysis) to rule out inter-species contamination and short tandem repeat (STR) profiling to distinguish between individual human cell lines and rule out intra-species contamination. Learn more

 

Check out the resources listed below for more information about why cell line authentication matters.

Misidentification of human cell lines

Misidentification of human cell lines: Science vs. Policy
Dr. Yvonne Reid, a cell authentication specialist at ATCC, gave this presentation at the European Stem cell meeting held in San Diego, CA, this past February. Her talk describes the history of the problem and outlines how scientific policy can help to eradicate cell contamination and misidentification.

View presentation

Related Items:

Standardization of STR Profiling

Development of a Consensus Standard for the Authentication of Human Cell lines: Standardization of STR Profiling – Part I: History
Dr. John Masters, of the University College London, provides an historical overview of the problem, highlights some examples of cell lines that are known to be contaminated or misidentified, and illustrates how these “false” lines have permeated the scientific literature.

View presentation

Related Items:

A list of cross-contaminated or misidentified cell Lines

Check your cultures! A list of cross-contaminated or misidentified cell Lines (Capes-Davis et al, 2010)
The authors of this study reviewed the publically available information on PubMed, Wikipedia, the website of the ATCC, and the websites of other cell repositories to develop a comprehensive list of cell lines known to be contaminated or misidentified.


Read article

Related Items: