Check your cultures! A list of cross-contaminated or misidentified cell lines

CellBank Australia - Children's Medical Research Institute, Westmead, NSW, Australia.
International Journal of Cancer (Impact Factor: 5.09). 07/2010; 127(1):1-8. DOI: 10.1002/ijc.25242
Source: PubMed


Continuous cell lines consist of cultured cells derived from a specific donor and tissue of origin that have acquired the ability to proliferate indefinitely. These cell lines are well-recognized models for the study of health and disease, particularly for cancer. However, there are cautions to be aware of when using continuous cell lines, including the possibility of contamination, in which a foreign cell line or microorganism is introduced without the handler's knowledge. Cross-contamination, in which the contaminant is another cell line, was first recognized in the 1950s but, disturbingly, remains a serious issue today. Many cell lines become cross-contaminated early, so that subsequent experimental work has been performed only on the contaminant, masquerading under a different name. What can be done in response-how can a researcher know if their own cell lines are cross-contaminated? Two practical responses are suggested here. First, it is important to check the literature, looking for previous work on cross-contamination. Some reports may be difficult to find and to make these more accessible, we have compiled a list of known cross-contaminated cell lines. The list currently contains 360 cell lines, drawn from 68 references. Most contaminants arise within the same species, with HeLa still the most frequently encountered (29%, 106/360) among human cell lines, but interspecies contaminants account for a small but substantial minority of cases (9%, 33/360). Second, even if there are no previous publications on cross-contamination for that cell line, it is essential to check the sample itself by performing authentication testing.

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Available from: John R Masters, Sep 22, 2014
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    • "All these initiatives involve cultures grown in serum, which do not demonstrate the phenotypic properties of the tumor of origin. Furthermore, the origin of several of the cell lines has been questioned; in several instances STR profiling has revealed cross contamination or misidentification of established cell lines, including several GBM lines (Capes-Davis et al., 2010). Finally, for most of the publically available cell lines associated clinical data are lacking, which further reduces their value. "
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most frequent and malignant form of primary brain tumor. GBM is essentially incurable and its resistance to therapy is attributed to a subpopulation of cells called glioma stem cells (GSCs). To meet the present shortage of relevant GBM cell (GC) lines we developed a library of annotated and validated cell lines derived from surgical samples of GBM patients, maintained under conditions to preserve GSC characteristics. This collection, which we call the Human Glioblastoma Cell Culture (HGCC) resource, consists of a biobank of 48 GC lines and an associated database containing high-resolution molecular data. We demonstrate that the HGCC lines are tumorigenic, harbor genomic lesions characteristic of GBMs, and represent all four transcriptional subtypes. The HGCC panel provides an open resource for in vitro and in vivo modeling of a large part of GBM diversity useful to both basic and translational GBM research.
    08/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.ebiom.2015.08.026
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    • "Additionally, many laboratories (including ours) have used these cells in research and published many papers in international journals. However, it has been reported that the HSG cells used in this study were contaminated with HeLa cells [40, 41]. It will be necessary to consider the alternative cell line used for the particle beam facility experiments in the future. "
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    ABSTRACT: In the clinic, the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) value of 1.1 has usually been used in relation to the whole depth of the spread-out Bragg-peak (SOBP) of proton beams. The aim of this study was to confirm the actual biological effect in the SOBP at the very distal end of clinical proton beams using an in vitro cell system. A human salivary gland tumor cell line, HSG, was irradiated with clinical proton beams (accelerated by 190 MeV/u) and examined at different depths in the distal part and the center of the SOBP. Surviving fractions were analyzed with the colony formation assay. Cell survival curves and the survival parameters were obtained by fitting with the linear-quadratic (LQ) model. The RBE at each depth of the proton SOBP compared with that for X-rays was calculated by the biological equivalent dose, and the biological dose distribution was calculated from the RBE and the absorbed dose at each position. Although the physical dose distribution was flat in the SOBP, the RBE values calculated by the equivalent dose were significantly higher (up to 1.56 times) at the distal end than at the center of the SOBP. Additionally, the range of the isoeffective dose was extended beyond the range of the SOBP (up to 4.1 mm). From a clinical point of view, this may cause unexpected side effects to normal tissues at the distal position of the beam. It is important that the beam design and treatment planning take into consideration the biological dose distribution.
    Journal of Radiation Research 05/2014; 55(4). DOI:10.1093/jrr/rrt230 · 1.80 Impact Factor
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    • "Common causes leading to sample misidentification include mislabeling of cell cultures or DNA samples, cross-contamination, co-cultivation, and xenograft propagation. For example, it has been revealed that at least 360 cell lines are known to have some cross-contamination [9]. Furthermore, STR profiling demonstrated the misidentification of multiple ovarian cancer cell lines [10]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Short tandem repeat (STR) analysis, such as the AmpFlSTR® Identifiler® Plus kit, is a standard, PCR-based human genotyping method used in the field of forensics. Misidentification of cell line and tissue DNA can be costly if not detected early; therefore it is necessary to have quality control measures such as STR profiling in place. A major issue in large-scale research studies involving archival formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissues is that varying levels of DNA degradation can result in failure to correctly identify samples using STR genotyping. PCR amplification of STRs of several hundred base pairs is not always possible when DNA is degraded. The Sample ID Plus® panel from Sequenom allows for human DNA identification and authentication using SNP genotyping. In comparison to lengthy STR amplicons, this multiplexing PCR assay requires amplification of only 76-139 base pairs, and utilizes 47 SNPs to discriminate between individual samples. In this study, we evaluated both STR and SNP genotyping methods of sample identification, with a focus on paired FFPE tumor/normal DNA samples intended for next-generation sequencing (NGS). The ability to successfully validate the identity of FFPE samples can enable cost savings by reducing rework.
    PLoS ONE 02/2014; 9(2):e88163. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0088163 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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