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ATCC Launches Mouse Cell Line Authentication Service

News Release

New Service Supports ATCC's "Advancing Authentication" Initiative by Minimizing the Risk of Cell Line Misidentification and Cross-Contamination

Manassas, VA, United States

October 08, 2019

ATCC today announced the launch of a new authentication service that will allow researchers to easily confirm the identity of mouse cell lines. Developed in partnership with the National Institutes for Standards and Technology (NIST), the service demonstrates ATCC’s continued leadership in developing global biological standards.

“As a steward of good science, ATCC is proud to have partnered with NIST in developing the mouse STR technology and incorporating it into our authentication service portfolio,” said Maryellen de Mars, Ph.D., Vice President, Regulatory, Quality and Standards, ATCC. “This service will make it easier for scientists to regularly test the authenticity of their mouse cell lines, enabling more traceable and reproducible research.”

Misidentified human cell lines are a well-documented issue that has significantly disrupted biomedical research. According to one estimate, the known contamination of just two widely used human cell lines could have invalidated over $700 million worth of research. This has given rise to standards and resources that labs can use to confirm the identity of human cells, including ATCC’s human cell line authentication service. In contrast, the extent of misidentification in mouse cell lines is unknown, and there have been no validated guidelines or tools for authenticating them until now.

ATCC’s new Mouse Cell Line Authentication Service addresses this important need to verify mouse cell lines in research. Using unique short tandem repeat (STR) markers identified by NIST for different mouse cell lines, ATCC can validate the authenticity of any mouse cell line. To use this service, researchers simply spot their cells on an Easy-to-Use Whatman FTA card, dry the card, and mail it to ATCC for processing within three to five days after receipt.

“Without periodic testing of mouse cell lines, over-subcultured, misidentified, or cross-contaminated cells may be used, which can corrupt research data,” said scientist Jamie Almeida of NIST. “We’ve been working on STR markers that are unique, easy to interpret, and capable of distinguishing among different mouse cell lines. We’ve also partnered with ATCC to further develop the STR technology for authentication and establish the Mouse Cell Line Consortium. The consortium is made up of organizations that have agreed to work with NIST and ATCC to test and validate the patented authentication method using the NIST-identified STR markers.”

For more information about ATCC’s Mouse STR Profiling Service, visit ATCC's Mouse Cell STR Profiling Service web page.

About ATCC

ATCC is a premier global biological materials and information resource and standards organization and the leading developer and supplier of authenticated cell lines, microorganisms, and associated data for academia, industry, and government. With a history of scientific contributions spanning nearly a century, ATCC offers an unmatched combination of being the world’s largest and most diverse collection of biological reference materials and data, and is a mission-driven, trusted partner that supports and encourages scientific collaboration. ATCC products, services, partnerships, and people provide the global scientific community with credible, advanced, model systems to support complex research and innovations in basic science, drug discovery, translational medicine, and public health. ATCC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with headquarters in Manassas, Virginia, and a research and technology center of excellence in Gaithersburg, Maryland. 

Contact: Kim Testa, senior director, Corporate Communications & Public Affairs, ATCC, [email protected]