Culture Collections

Authenticating hybrid cell lines

STR profiling

Authentication of cell lines is important in scientific research to ensure that you are not working with cells that are misidentified, cross contaminated, or that differ genetically from the original stocks. Authentication of cell lines is a fundamental part of good cell culture practice and is increasingly required to secure funding for research and for publication in scientific journals. ECACC authenticates all of its human cell lines by Short Tandem Repeat (STR) profiling which can distinguish individual human cell lines and DNA barcoding which confirms the species.

Hybrid cell lines arise through fusion of somatic cells having different origins. They can pose a problem for authentication testing to confirm cell line identity since the results obtained may not conform to the results expected for the two parental cell types. Depending on the identity testing methodology a hybrid cell line may display characteristics of one of the parental cell types or both (refer to article ‘Authenticating Hybrid Cell Lines’ by Nims et al: DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.80669).

ECACC has a series of four human electrofused hybrid cell lines. A researcher using one of the cell lines, 1.1B4, contacted ECACC with a concern that they suspected this human cell line also contained rat DNA sequences. This initiated an investigation into these electrofused cell lines to confirm their authenticity. The results of this investigation are summarised below.

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