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Methods Mol Biol. 2014;1104:57-73. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-733-4_5.

DNA profiling and characterization of animal cell lines.

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National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, South Mimms, UK.


The history of the culture of animal cell lines is littered with published and much unpublished experience with cell lines that have become switched, mislabelled, or cross-contaminated during laboratory handling. To deliver valid and good quality research and to avoid waste of time and resources on such rogue lines, it is vital to perform some kind of qualification for the provenance of cell lines used in research and particularly in the development of biomedical products. DNA profiling provides a valuable tool to compare different sources of the same cells and, where original material or tissue is available, to confirm the correct identity of a cell line. This chapter provides a review of some of the most useful techniques to test the identity of cells in the cell culture laboratory and gives methods which have been used in the authentication of cell lines.

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