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The GRCF offers Short Tandem Repeat (STR) profiling for cell line authentication

Our services use STR profiles to confirm the identity of a human line by comparison to a known profile or to establish an identity profile for a new human cell line generated locally. 

Authentication is recommended:

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when a new line is established or acquired.

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before freezing.

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Every two months that the culture is actively growing.

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if the performance of the line is not consistent or results are unexpected .

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before publication.

Cell Line Authentication Service Choices

The GRCF offers two levels of service support for STR profiles.

Standard Service

Standard Service includes a signed cell line authentication report for each line submitted and is for scientists who prefer to do their own profile comparison analysis. The report contains a STR profile table, an electropherogram profile, and a table with the raw data for each allele (size in base pairs, peak height, peak area). The results can be used for comparison to reference databases to check for cross contamination, mix-ups and percent match between lines or to establish the identity of a new cell line. The certificate is suitable for proof of cell line authentication required by journals and grant funding bodies. 

Standard Service Plus Profile Search

Standard Service plus Profile Search includes the Standard Service, plus profile comparison to public databases maintained by recognized repositories ATCC and DSMZ to check the authenticity of your cell line.


Cell line authentication analysis following ANSI/ATCC ASN-0002-2001 , the standardization of STR profiling using multiple kits. 

Profiling kits are only suitable for cell lines of HUMAN origin. A Beta-globin mouse marker option is offered to test for the presence of MOUSE DNA.

PowerPlex 18D (Promega)

Markers included in the kit are amelogenin, CSF1PO, D13S317, D16S539, D21S11, D5S818, D7S820, THO1, TPOX, vWA, D18S51, D3S1358, FGA, D8S1179, Penta E, Penta D, D2S1338 and D19S433. This kit contains all the markers listed in ATCC’s database plus 9 additional markers not listed.

GenePrint 10 System (Promega)

Markers included in the kit are amelogenin, CSF1PO, D13S317, D16S539, D21S11, D5S818, D7S820, THO1, TPOX, and vWA. This kit contains all the markers listed in ATCC’s database plus D21S11..

Sample Preparation for Human Cell Line Authentication

The GRCF (FAF) accepts purified DNA (please provide >10µl at >10ng/µl of DNA), cell pellets (dried or frozen, between 100,000 and 5 million, preferred, pellet should be visible) or frozen cell aliquots (cryopreservation tube) for analysis. A visible cell pellet is required for combined authentication and mycoplasma testing. A DNA isolation charge applies when submitting cell pellets or frozen cell aliquots for authentication service. We can also extract DNA from other sources – please inquire.

Please inquire about DNA extraction from Non-Human sources

What you will receive

Standard Service

You will receive a signed cell line authentication report that includes a STR profile table of your cell line with data suitable for comparison to reference databases, a graphic profile (electropherogram), and a table with the raw data for the alleles with base pair size, peak height, and peak area. The signed report provides a STR profile for the cell line submitted, it does not automatically authenticate the cell line. Authentication is determined by comparison to the STR profile of the original donor tissue or repository cell stock. The STR profile is used to verify the cell line is human, evaluate profile consistency between provisionally related cell isolates, detect cross-contamination with another human cell line (intra-species contamination), and can be used to compare to profile databases, which we strongly recommend. Additional information is provided with links to profile databases and information about interpreting your cell line results. The report is suitable for proof of cell line authentication that may be required by journals and grant funding bodies, though you will need to check the profile of your line against published profiles. If preferred, the GRCF provides databases searches with our Plus Profile Search service. .

Standard Service Plus Profile Search

You will receive a signed cell line authentication report that includes a STR profile table of your cell line, an graphic profile (electropherogram), and a table with the raw data for the alleles with base pair size, peak height, and peak area, plus a database search summary of repositories ATCC and DSMZ. The report is suitable for proof of cell line authentication that may be required by journals and grant funding bodies..

Turnaround Time

Samples submitted for STR profiling are run once a week on Tuesday, with results emailed within 2 weeks of receipt.

Johns Hopkins Customers

Drop off samples in Blalock 1004 by 4PM on Monday for inclusion in that week’s processing schedule. If a sample needs to be repeated it will be included the next time the assay is run. Johns Hopkins customers should drop off samples in Blalock 1004 by 4PM on Monday for inclusion in that week’s processing schedule. 

External Customers

Ship samples to the lab to be received by 11AM Tuesday for inclusion in that week’s processing schedule. Ship at ambient temperature or with ice packs. Ship samples with the customer information page of the request form to:

GRCF, Johns Hopkins University, 725 N. Wolfe Street, PCTB G20, Baltimore, MD 21205

Phone (443) 287-7948

Email the courier tracking number and request form to  FAF@jhmi.edu.


How Do I Request Services?

Johns Hopkins customers please place your order through our secure  online ordering system, Genesifter. Genesifter is now behind the JHMI firewall. This means it is ONLY accessible within the Hopkins environment. If you are off campus you will need to access the server via VPN, just like your email and many other JHU secure services. For the order form see FAF Order Forms: FAF Cell Line Authentication.

External Researchers 

External non-Johns Hopkins customers please use this  downloadable Excel order form for placing requests. Our online ordering system, Genesifter, is no longer available to external customers due to security risks. If you have a Genesifter account with us and need access to your old data files please contact the GRCF FAF lab at FAF@jhmi.edu.

Pricing

DNA isolation (required for submission of cell pellets): $20 per sample

STR Profiling Analysis:

Standard Service:

GenePrint 10: $100/samplePowerPlex 18D: $140/sample

Standard Service Plus Profile Search:

GenePrint 10: $142/samplePowerPlex 18D: $182/sample

Mycoplasma testing AND human cell line authentication (STR profiling) from the same CELL PELLET (a cell pellet is needed for combined service, extracted DNA is not suitable):

GenePrint 10: $145/sample (Standard Service)GenePrint 10: $180/sample (Standard Service plus Profile Search)PowerPlex 18D: $179/sample (Standard Service)PowerPlex 18D: $214/sample (Standard Service plus Profile Search)

Payment options:

John Hopkins investigators: IO number or credit card (VISA or MasterCard)External U.S. customers: P.O., check or credit card (VISA or MasterCard)External foreign customers: P.O., check or credit card (VISA or MasterCard)

International customers using a credit card will have an additional $25 processing fee added.