List of Misidentified or contaminated cell lines
Cell line cross contamination and misidentification have plagued biomedical research for as long as cells have been employed as resarch tools. A recent Science article indicated that in some cases, laboratories have invested substantial time and effort researching cell lines that were revealed to be misidentified.
(1). The situation has prompted the U.S. National Institutes of Health to issue a notice strongly urging researchers to authenticate cultured cells used in their laboratory.
(2). Many contaminated cell lines were overgrown by the contaminating cell line during establishment and so authentic stocks probably do not exist; in those cases all work has been performed on the contaminant, which may come from a different species, tissue or cell type.
Cell line cross-contamination was first discovered in the 1960s and has been extensively reported since that time. Contaminated or misidentified cell lines have also been listed on the websites of individual cell banks. To make it easier to check for these references, a single list has been developed summarising the cell lines known to be affected, their contaminants, and the references used.
The list was developed and is maintained by Dr. R. Ian Freshney and Dr. Armanda Capes-Davis. For additional background or citation, please refer to the associated article.
(3).This table is meant as a preliminary guide to avoiding suspect cell lines, but all recently acquired cell lines should be tested (e.g. by STR profiling for human cell lines) and compared to reference stock before use. Observations made in these lists are based on published reports and details obtained from cell banks, their websites, and Wikipedia. The authors take no credit nor responsibility for any of the primary observations and have merely attempted to collate data previously available on other sites.
Click on PDF link below for list of Misidentified or contaminated cell lines.
1. Chatterjee, R. (2007) Cell biology. Cases of mistaken identity. Science 315, 928–31.
2. Ruiz Bravo, N. and Gottesman, M. (2007) Notice regarding authentication of cultured cell lines.
3. Capes-Davis, A., G. Theodosopoulos, I. Atkin, H. Drexler, A. Kohara, R.A.F. MacLeod, J.R. Masters, Y. Nakamura, Y.A. Reid, R.R. Reddel, R.I. Freshney. 2010. Check your cultures! A list of cross-contaminated or misidentified cell lines. International Journal of Cancer. 127:1–8.