Genomics for human health

qCell Identity

qCell Identity aims at:

  • identifying cell lines.
  • detecting cross-contamination in cell lines.

The service is based short tandem repeat (STR) genotyping. We use of a combination of nine microsatellite markers that produce a genetic profile that gives an optimum discrimination between cell lines, generating a random match probability of 1 in 2.92x10^9.

Identify your cell lines!!!

Cell line authentication is an obvious and crucial point to take into account for researchers. It is estimated that between 15 and 20% of cell lines used in biomedical research are either missidentified or cross-contaminated [1]. Nevertheless, very few researchers verify their cell lines. These phenomena can bring to irreproducible and inconsistent results, can seriously affect the quality of scientific publications (potentially resulting in retractions!), represent a potential risk for human health and, in the short term, are a waste of time and money. Recognizing this potential risks, some of the highest impact journals like Clinical Cancer Research or Nature, require researchers to provide authentication information of the cell lines used in their experiments, before publication.

When is it recommended to test?

  • During the initial passages after purchasing or establishing a new cell line.
  • As a quality control routine before starting a new set of experiments.
  • Before submitting a paper.
  • When an anomalous behaviour of the cell line is observed.
  • To establish the genetic profile of a new cell line [2].

Results of qCell Identity

The result of this study consists on the genotype of the combination of analyzed STRs. We use public databases to match this profile of STR alleles with the existing ones in the main cell line providers/distributors (DSMZ, ATCC, ECCAC...), which allows the identification of the cells provided by the customer.
This service is restricted to human cell lines. If cross-contamination with cells from other species is suspected (tipically rodent cell lines from feder layers), other methods should be used. The method can detect cross-contamination if contamination exceeds 1 to 5% of the total cells in the culture.
Given the inherent instability of STRs, it is possible that the pattern of alleles slightly changes with the passages of the cell lines, thus it is recommended to periodically test your cell lines to monitor this process.

How it works: easy & quick answers!!!