Don't Add Extra Variables; Verify with Bio-Synthesis Cell Line Identification
Published: Dec 20, 2010
Cell line contamination has interfered with scientific studies for years, but only recently has it come to the community's attention. In 2007, the NCI/ADR-RES breast cancer cell line was found to be contaminated with OVCAR-8, sparking the retraction of over 300 academic papers and compromising years of work. Only months later, the NIH called for all grant applicants to address the threat of cross-contamination with cell line identification measures. Increasing numbers of journals, notably Biotechniques, Cancer Research, and In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology now require authentication on all cell lines used in studies submitted for publication. The FDA is even more strict, requiring cell line authentication as a condition for drug approval.
Over the years, several different teams of researchers have noted the failure of phenotype and provenance to provide reliable information:
- Of 1211 cell lines published between 1989 and 2007, 23 percent were found to have discrepancies in p53 status (Berglind et al).
- Of 40 ostensibly thyroid cancer cell lines, 17 were found to lack unique genetic profiles, and some were confirmed as having come from colon cancer or melanoma sources (Schwepp et al).
- Among hematopoetic cell lines, 14.8 percent were found to be contaminated with other hematopoetic cell lines (Drexler et al).
Bio-Synthesis employs short tandem repeat analysis, the technique most highly recommended by the ATCC SDO, to confirm the identities of clients submitted samples. Standard cell line authentication services start as low as $95 for a profile of preextracted DNA. Complete cell line identification packages, however, include not only AmpFlSTR Identifiler profiling but PowerPlex 1.2, StemElite, and High-Resolution Luminex HLA DNA Genotyping. In-depth services include comparison of the client's cell line to a known sample, blind analysis of the client's cell line without any preexisting knowledge of its purported origin, comparison of the client's sample to a DNA database and and cross-contamination detection covering nine species.
Bio-Synthesis' accredited cell line testing facilities have been the home of many successful projects. Bio-Synthesis invites readers to visit www.BioSyn.com for more details on this and other services.
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