Cell Line Authentication and Reproducibility

April 10, 2014 | Posted by Tess Mayall in Lab Profiles |
Cell line authentication at DDC Medical.

Cell line authentication at DDC Medical.

Over a third of cell lines used for biomedical research are contaminated or misidentified resulting in wasted resources, unreliable data, and irreproducible results.1 As a result, many journals and funding agencies now require cell line authentication for their studies.

Earlier this week, I wrote about our user, Eric Hugo, who did cell line authentication on several human cell lines that he had created. The experiment gave him confidence that his cell lines had the expected XY profile, hadn’t been contaminated, and were completely unique – all crucial findings for any researcher creating new cell lines.

Until recently, it has only been possible to authenticate cell lines from humans. Excitingly, DDC Medical has just developed and released a mouse cell line authentication test, providing researchers a way to validate their mouse cell lines for the first time.

This is a landmark development for several reasons. Mouse cell lines are one of the most common model systems used in biomedical research. They are used to study gene function, in the manufacturing of recombinant proteins, and as feeders to support the growth of embryonic stem cells. In order to accurately interpret data from mouse cell lines, authentication of the identity of the cell line is critical. Mouse cell lines are equally susceptible to the contamination and misidentification issues that plague human cell lines, so it is extremely valuable that researchers now have an option for authenticating their mouse cell lines.

DDC Medical created their new mouse cell line authentication test using Short Tandem Repeat (STR) DNA profiling. STR DNA profiling is a powerful, inexpensive tool that generates DNA signatures unique to individual cell lines. It can therefore identify mischaracterized cell lines and cell lines contaminated by one or more additional cell lines. DDC Medical has created a preliminary database of unique DNA profiles for several dozen mouse cell lines and can generate unique mouse DNA profiles for any mouse cell line submitted so that the lines can be identified and validated throughout their use.

At Science Exchange, we believe that robust, reproducible research is crucial for the advancement of science. Mouse cell line authentication is an important development for ensuring the reproducibility of research utilizing these tools. We are excited to offer DDC’s unique mouse cell line authentication test available from their Science Exchange storefront.

To help researchers get started with authenticating their mouse cell lines, DDC Medical is running a buy one get one free campaign on both their mouse and human cell line authentication services available from Science Exchange! This offer will only be available for the month of April, so if you have mouse cell lines in your lab, we recommend you submit them for authentication this month here.

1.  Hughes P. Marshall D, Reid Y, et al. 2007 BioTechniques 43.575-586

About the author

Tess Mayall builds Science Exchange’s online and offline community of scientists and providers. She is a geologist by training, but considers herself a friend of scientists near and far.

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