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A resource for cell line authentication, annotation and quality control

Nature volume 520, pages 307311 (16 April 2015) | Download Citation


Cell line misidentification, contamination and poor annotation affect scientific reproducibility. Here we outline simple measures to detect or avoid cross-contamination, present a framework for cell line annotation linked to short tandem repeat and single nucleotide polymorphism profiles, and provide a catalogue of synonymous cell lines. This resource will enable our community to eradicate the use of misidentified lines and generate credible cell-based data.

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We thank S. Ghosh for bioinformatics support, E. Hall and Y. Reid (ATCC) for their intellectual input and expertise in genetic testing. M. Kline for supplying STR profiles. J. Settleman and D. Stokoe for discussions.

Author information

Author notes

    • Mamie Yu
    •  & Suresh K. Selvaraj

    These authors contributed equally to this work.


  1. Department of Discovery Oncology, Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, California 94080, USA

    • Mamie Yu
    • , Suresh K. Selvaraj
    • , May M. Y. Liang-Chu
    • , Genee Lee
    •  & Richard M. Neve
  2. Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, California 94080, USA

    • Sahar Aghajani
    • , Matthew Busse
    • , Jean Yuan
    • , Christiaan Klijn
    • , Richard Bourgon
    •  & Joshua S. Kaminker
  3. Department of Pathology, Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, California 94080, USA

    • Franklin Peale


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This collection of authenticated cell line data will be made available through NCBI’s BioProject and BioSample databases, accessible through accession number PRJNA271020, for continued community development and refinement. R.M.N. conceived and supervised the study; M.Y., S.K.S., M.M.Y.L.-C. and G.L. were responsible for cell line banking, experimentation and data collection; S.A., M.B., J.Y., C.K., R.B. and J.S.K. performed data curation and wrote the code for SNP and STR analyses; R.M.N., M.Y., S.K.S., M.M.Y.L.-C., M.B. and F.P. performed manual curation of cell line nomenclature and associated data. All authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript.

Competing interests

The majority of authors are employees of Genentech Inc. and/or hold stock in Roche.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Richard M. Neve.

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