DNA Fingerprinting and Characterization of Animal Cells

  • Glyn N. Stacey
Part of the Methods in Biotechnology™ book series (MIBT, volume 8)


The subject of cell characterization is obviously of great importance in the utilisation of cell lines from a scientific perspective in order to demonstrate the validity and limitations of a particular cell line as a model of in vivo tissue or as a cell substrate in a biological assay or production process. However, the history of in vitro animal cell culture is littered with cases where more diligent scientists have identified “cross-contamination” of cultures which, in many cases, probably represented simple mislabeling or switching of cultures. Nelson-Rees et al. published the seminal review of this problem which focused scientific attention on the hazards of “cross-contaminated” cell lines (1). Their results were based on painstaking studies involving karyology and isoenzyme analysis which revealed a large number of cell lines, reported to be of diverse types and origins, which, in fact, turned out to be subclones of the HeLa cell line. Thus, it is important that all workers using cell lines be aware of this problem and be able to take steps to avoid the use of bogus cell lines This chapter is intended to give the reader an overview of some of the more popular DNA identification tests available, to put them in context with other more traditional tests, and to give some guidance on the most appropriate selection of an identity test which may vary depending on the type of work and facilities available.


Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction Southern Blot Hybridization Isoenzyme Analysis Individual Cell Line VNTR Locus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Glyn N. Stacey
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of Biological Standards and ControlSouth MimmsUK

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