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Methods Mol Biol. 2011;731:45-55. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-080-5_5.

Online verification of human cell line identity by STR DNA typing.

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DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen, Braunschweig, Germany.


The main prerequisition for any research, development, or production programs involving cell lines is whether a cell line is authentic or not. Microsatellites in the human genome harboring short tandem repeat (STR) DNA markers allow the identification of individual cell lines at the DNA level. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of eight highly polymorphic microsatellite STR loci and gender determination have been proven to be the best tools for screening the uniqueness of DNA profiles in an STR database. The main Biological Resource Centers (BRCs), ATCC, DSMZ, JCRB, and RIKEN, have generated large databases of STR cell line profiles for identity control. In cooperation with the Japanese BRCs, DSMZ has piloted the generation of the most comprehensive international reference database, which is linked to a simple search engine for interrogating STR cell line profiles. The tool of online -verification of cell line identities is available on the respective homepages of JCRB and DSMZ ( , ). The following sections describe a rapid, practical, inexpensive, and reliable method available to students, technicians, and scientists.

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