Interlaboratory study to validate a STR profiling method for intraspecies identification of mouse cell lines.

The Consortium for Mouse Cell Line Authentication was formed to validate Short Tandem Repeat (STR) markers for intraspecies identification of mouse cell lines. The STR profiling method is a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay comprised of primers targeting 19 mouse STR markers and two human STR markers (for interspecies contamination screening). The goals of the Consortium were to perform an interlaboratory study to-(1) validate the mouse STR markers to uniquely identify mouse cell lines (intraspecies identification), (2) to provide a public database of mouse cell lines with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)-validated mouse STR profiles, and (3) to publish the results of the interlaboratory study. The interlaboratory study was an international effort that consisted of 12 participating laboratories representing institutions from academia, industry, biological resource centers, and government. The study was based on 50 of the most commonly used mouse cell lines obtained from the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC). Of the 50 mouse cell lines, 18 had unique STR profiles that were 100% concordant (match) among all Consortium laboratory members, and the remaining 32 cell lines had discordance that was resolved readily and led to improvement of the assay. The discordance was due to low signal and interpretation issues involving artifacts and genotyping errors. Although the total number of discordant STR profiles was relatively high in this study, the percent of labs agreeing on allele calls among the discordant samples was above 92%. The STR profiles, including electropherogram images, for NIST-validated mouse cell lines will be published on the NCBI BioSample Database (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/biosample/). Overall, the interlaboratory study showed that the multiplex PCR method using 18 of the 19 mouse STR markers is capable of discriminating at the intraspecies level between mouse cell lines. Further studies are ongoing to refine the assay including (1) development of an allelic ladder for improving the accuracy of allele calling and (2) integration of stutter filters to identify true stutter.