Cell Line STR Profiling - Human Cell Line Authentication Services

Cell lines are often used in biomedical research to investigate disease pathways and therapies.


In late 2007, an open letter by a group of scientists led by Dr. Roland Nardone spurred the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to recommend authenticating cell lines in scientific studies.


In early 2012, the ATCC issued its standard to address the problem of cell line misidentification and "delineate a standardized, universally applicable method for authenticating new and established human cell lines and human primary tissue used in research."


The International Cell Line Authentication Committee (ICLAC) recommends that cell line STR profiling in accordance with the standard ASN-0002-2011. Recommendations from the standard should be followed, including the use of at least eight core STR loci and application of match criteria (80% match threshold). This threshold allows for possible drift in some cell lines.


DNA True Test recently increased their core testing capabilities by examining up to 22 polymorphic loci for human and cell line STR profiling. DNA True Tes Medical continues to lead the industry by being one of the first to unilaterally introduce this upgraded capability, at no additional cost to the researcher.


Studies have shown an alarming percentage of human cell lines, those purchased from commercial repositories and primary cell lines, are contaminated or misidentified. Poor cell culture technique, shared equipment and poor quality control in a laboratory can all contribute to the misidentification and contamination issues. In addition, genetic instability of some cell lines can result in changes at the DNA level that can compromise research results. Articles published on these topics indicate as much as 20 to 33 percent of all cell lines are misidentified or contaminated, but there is a simple and affordable solution.


DNA True Test Medical, one of the world’s largest DNA laboratories, offers Human Cell Line Authentication and Mycoplasma Detection services.


Peer review Journals throughout the research community recommends Cell Line Authentication and Mycoplasma Detection as part of the publication process. Grant providers are also aware of the issue and requiring Cell Line Authentication and Mycoplasma Detection ensures a sound investment.


DNA True Test Medical Customers

   • Academia Researchers and Teaching Labs

   • Pharma Labs and Researchers

   • Biotech Labs and Researchers

   • Government Labs and Researchers

   • Other University, private and non-profit cancer and cell-based research institutions

When to Conduct Cell Line Authentication

   • When a new line is first established or purchased

   • As a control measure at the start of a new study and concluding a study

   • At least once every 6 months in active culture

   • Before freezing down for storage

   • When an unexpected result occurs


About the Test

Genetic instability of some cell lines can result in changes at the DNA level that can compromise research results. Cell Line Authentication will ensure the research is being conducted on the correct cells, maximizing reliable results, supporting publication efforts, and reducing the risk of wasted time and resources. DDC Medical provides testing and certification that many Journals, research funding agencies and the NIH strongly recommend or require.


Additional Services

This additional service compares the cell line to the ATCC's STR Profile database to determine if there is a known match (or misidentification) and provide the % match at ≥80% (per the ATCC ASN-0002 guidelines) - we do not report cell line matches below a 55% to 79% match as there is considerable doubt of relatedness.


  • Electropherogram - An electropherogram provides the data generated by the STR DNA analysis. This data shows the alleles detected at each examined location and allows you to see the plot of results via electrophoresis automatic sequencing.

  • Comparative Analysis

DNA True Test Medical staff will enter the designated loci (plus amelogenin) from the STR profile generated into the available ATCC or DSMZ STR Database. A report will be generated indicating a match criterion based on an algorithm that compares your profile to the database. Cell lines can be an identical match or a match > 80% which would indicate that the cell lines are "related".


These services can be purchased with any DNA True Test Medical Cell Line Authentication test.

This analysis is important if;

1) you need to confirm the cells you are working with at the beginning of research your research

2) you need to validate the cell line before submitting an application to publish your findings.