• Quick Order
  • Careers
  • Support

STR Authentication: Using the ATCC STR Database

DNA strand with light green and purples particles attached.

How to use the STR database to authenticate a cell line

Short Tandem Repeat (STR) profile background information

The ATCC STR database includes STR profiles standards for all distributed cell lines in our collection. We use STR analysis to screen all human cell lines for authenticity and purity before distribution to provide a true baseline for researchers using these cell lines. Comparing an STR profile to the database provides a measurable relationship between tested cells and accepted standard cell lines.

8 loci are used to authenticate a cell line for research and publication purposes. STR profiles assume 2 alleles; the presence of more than 2 alleles in DNA from normal cells indicates genomic heterogeneity, which is typically equated with contamination or genetic instability. Tumor and transformed cell lines are more prone to genetic drift which can accelerate with passage number, media content, and other factors. Some cell lines may have more than 2 alleles at a loci as they are generally not normal cells (see the example).

How to search the database

Step 1. Go directly to the STR database and log in to your ATCC profile

You must be logged in to your ATCC profile to access the database. If you do not have a profile, please create one.


atcc log in



Step 2. Search the database using one of two options

Search by ATCC number to obtain an STR profile standard OR you may input a profile to run it against the ATCC database.



str search fields


Option 1. Search by ATCC Number

Enter an ATCC product number and click the "Search" button. In the below example, we have entered CCL-2, which are HeLa cells.


str search by atcc number


The CCL-2 HeLa cell STR profile appears at the top of the page.


str results for ccl search



Option 2. Search by STR profile to match against others in the database

Input a profile in the fields to run against the ATCC public database. In this below example, we entered a profile from a cancer research paper. 


enter a profile into the fields



str  profile results from cancer research




Option 2. Practice search by STR profile to match against others in the database

In the below example, we entered a profile to run against the ATCC public database.


str add data to fields




data search results





more str results




check off the str data you would like to keep and export





Dive deeper into the benefits of STR analysis

Color-coded letters, DNA binary data sequences with a hand touching the letters.

Search the STR Database

Search the STR database of DNA profiles of all our human cell lines.

Digital display of DNA markers.

Interrogating the Database

Learn how to query our STR database of human cells and interpret the results.

DNA double helix strands in silver, yellow and green.

STR Profiling Analysis

ATCC's STR profiles help ensure the quality and integrity of human cell lines in the scientific community.

Purple, fragmented DNA double helix strand on a black background.

Matching Algorithm

ATCC's STR database matching algorithm compares the number of shared alleles between two cell line samples, expressed as a percentage.

ATCC resource

Cell Line Authentication Publication Requirements

Learn about which scientific journals require cell line authentication as a requirement for publication.

Green and purple Cyto-01 retinal epithelial cells.

Repairing Reproducibility

Reproducibility is an urgent problem. Explore what your colleagues believe is the source of the issue and what scientists can do to solve it.

Green K562-GFP with nuclear stain.

Cell authentication services are available from ATCC

Learn more