Authentication of human cell lines using SNP typing


  • Our cost-effective alternative to classical STR-profiling
  • Identification of human cell lines by Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP)-profiling
  • Complete genotype information is compared to reference database (currently comprising >960 distinct STR-Profiling authenticated human reference cell lines, Overview)
  • In contrast to STR-Profiling, also widely used cell lines with mutations in their mismatch repair genes can be robustly authenticated
  • Detection of up to 10% cross-contaminating cells from another human cell line (depending on relatedness of cell lines)
  • Authentication of newly-established human cell lines or sublines by genotyping paired donor and derived cell line samples


To be done by the user

  • Purify cell line DNA by commercially available DNA purification systems, e.g. from Qiagen or Roche (protocol)
    • required DNA concentration: 15 to 30ng/µL
    • required amount: >15µL
    • tubes: 1.5 ml SafeLock tubes (please do not use screw caps and Parafilm)
  • Complete the
  • Label sample tubes with the specific sample name as provided in the confirmation Email
  • Ship samples in a padded envelope WITH a copy of the confirmation Email to: 

 Multiplexion, c/o DKFZ, Dept. D320, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany


To be done by Multiplexion

  • SNP profiling of submitted cell line
  • Comparison of obtained signature to reference signatures
  • Transfer of results to customer via Email (the report can be used as certificate for granting agencies and journals)


Turnaround Time

Samples submitted are run in even calendar weeks, with results emailed usually by end of the week.

  • Customers from Heidelberg can drop off samples in the building INF242 between 9 AM and 12 AM each Friday.
  • External customers should ship samples to the lab to be received by Friday for inclusion in the next week's processing schedule. Samples received Monday through Friday of any given week will be held and processed the following testing week.


How to cite the service?

For Grant and Paper Submissions


What to do with contaminated cell lines?

  • Different contaminations require different actions. An overview can be found here.
  • A database of misidentified or cross-contaminated cell lines can be found here. Please stop working with any of these cell lines.
  • Problems with contaminations? Our check list for sterile work may help.


Please note: This service is FOR RESEARCH USE ONLY. Do not use in diagnostic procedures.

Offer for First Time Users

special offer

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Demo Report

Download the cell line
authentication demo report.


Cell line data base

Get a list of all cell lines included
in our cell line data base.


DNA extraction protocol

Download the detailed DNA
extraction protocol.


Benefit of SNP-based cell line authentication

Short tandem repeat (STR) Profiling is widely used to verify the authentication of human cell lines. However, widely used cell lines (e.g. HEK293, CCRF-CEM, Jurkat, ...) with mutations in their mismatch repair genes have been shown to acquire changes in their STR profile upon long-term culture leading to false authentication results.

To solve these limitations, Multiplexion has developed a high-throughput Multiplex human Cell Authentication (MCA) test. MCA can robustly and error-free authenticate widely used cell lines with mutations in their mismatch repair genes.

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