Authentication of Human Cell Lines Through STR Profiling

Preparing machine for PCR for authentication of human cell lines with ANSI/ATCC ASN-002-2021 short tandem repeat profiling.

About Short Tandem Repeat (STR) Profiling

Gaining insight into the human genetic blueprint through the completion of the Human Genome Project (HGP) in 2003 was one of the biggest accomplishments in scientific history. A great deal of what we are is determined by our genetics, and understanding that can help combat disease and other biological issues.

With today’s comprehension of genetics, scientists can employ methods to quickly identify particular patterns. One of these is Short Tandem Repeat (STR) profiling, which uses regions of repeated DNA (such as GATA-GATA-GATA) as genetic markers for human identification or cell line authentication. STRs are easily amplified by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and multiple STR loci can be examined simultaneously to create a DNA profile, thereby permitting the unambiguous identification (authentication) of human cell line samples.

STR profiling is important for treating human diseases such as cancer, identifying substrates to be used for the production of vaccines, and creating recombinant proteins for therapy. Guaranteeing the proper identification of genetic materials that are used for these processes is essential for their future success.

Although STR profiling is a relatively simple method that has been in use for some time, the use of misidentified genetic lines in research still continues to occur, wasting millions of dollars on processes that would otherwise benefit human life.

ANSI/ATCC ASN-0002-2021 STR Standard

ANSI/ATCC ASN-0002-2021: Authentication of Human Cell Lines: Standardization of Short Tandem Repeat (STR) Profiling is a comprehensive detail of the procedure for identifying and authenticating human cell lines without ambiguity using STR profiling. Overall, it specifies the methodology for STR profiling, data analyses, quality control of the data, interpretation of results, and implementation of a searchable public database.

The standard assists with authentication (establishing a cell line’s origin and identity) to result in the following:

  • Verification of human origin
  • Evaluation of profile consistency between provisionally related cell isolates
  • Comparison to a profile database
  • Detection of “contaminating human DNA” (intraspecies cell-cross contamination).

Its range of coverage does not include interspecies identification of non-humans, which would require a different process for genetic marking.

ANSI/ATCC ASN-0002-2021 also solves the problem of misidentified genetic lines in research by providing a historical perspective on standardization of human cell line authentication through STR profiling. This is important because today scientists may be unaware of past discoveries, resulting in the belief or claim that they are working with a sample from one individual or species, even though it could very well be a completely different individual or species.

ANSI/ATCC ASN-0002-2021: Authentication of Human Cell Lines: Standardization of Short Tandem Repeat (STR) Profiling is available on the ANSI Webstore.

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