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ATCC Signs CRADA with NIST to Validate Genetic Identification Technique for Mouse Cell Lines

Collaboration will provide research community with authentication assay and identity database

MANASSAS, Va., (July 19, 2016) — ATCC, a global leader in biological materials management and standards, today announced that it has entered into a three-year cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to determine and validate short tandem repeat (STR) markers for mouse cell line authentication.

Under the agreement, ATCC will partner with NIST to establish a Mouse Cell Line Authentication Consortium, and will provide DNA from at least 50 mouse cell lines. These DNA samples will be part of the test reagent kit that will be distributed to Consortium members for inter-laboratory validation studies.

“Mouse cell lines are commonly used to study human genes and disease but are frequently misidentified or contaminated, invalidating experimental results,” said Maryellen de Mars, senior director for ATCC’s Standards Resource Center. “Current authentication methods lack the resolution to differentiate between individual mouse at the subspecies-level. This multiplex PCR assay will be the first of its kind to provide a unique STR profile for each individual mouse cell line.”

Cell line authentication is becoming increasingly important in the research community, and is now recommended and/or required by more than 130 scientific journals prior to publication. In many cases, it is a condition of funding by federal agencies.

The research community has responded to this problem with validated methods for human cell line identification; however, few assays are available for nonhuman cell lines.

“Our collaboration with NIST will provide the research community with a validated authentication assay for mouse identification along with a database for mouse cell lines. Both will contribute to reproducible results, saving billions in research dollars,” said de Mars.

Each consortium member will submit their results to NIST, who will, in partnership with the consortium members, evaluate the performance of the assay kit and STR markers to determine if modifications are needed. Data collected by NIST will be used to develop a public STR profile database for mouse cell lines.

“The problem of cell line misidentification and contamination has plagued cell biology for decades. This collaboration represents an important step in providing a technical solution to that problem,” said Anne Plant, chief of NIST’s Biosystems and Biomaterials Division.

About ATCC

ATCC is a leader in biological materials management, providing the worldwide scientific community and U.S. government with research and development, products, and services in support of global health issues. With a history of innovation spanning more than 90 years, ATCC offers the world’s largest and most diverse collection of human and animal cell lines, microorganisms, biological products, and standards. ATCC is a non-profit organization with headquarters in Manassas, VA, and an R&D and services center in Gaithersburg, MD.