Molecular and cellular biochemistry vol:243 issue:1-2 pages:49-54
In the past years, in our laboratory, several cell lines have been generated starting from a human liver (H7). Some of them have been used successfully in studies of the infection with and propagation of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C viruses. Recently, several lines of evidence indicated that the origin of these cell lines was uncertain. Therefore, we now have determined the genetic characteristics of these cell lines in comparison to HepG2 cells received from ATCC and to HepG2 isolates grown at other laboratories. Quadruplex fluorescent short tandem repeat (STR) typing and karyotyping were performed. In addition, some biochemical characteristics of selected clones were studied. Genetically, all H7-derived cell lines were identical to HepG2 cells. However, some liver-specific functions varied between the different sub-cloned lines. The H7-derived cell lines that were generated proved to be sub-cloned lines of HepG2. The problem of cross-contamination during cloning of cell lines appears to be not uncommon. We found that two out of six HepG2 isolates obtained from other laboratories were not derived from the same individual as the original HepG2 cells. Therefore, STR typing should be applied as a rapid and sensitive technique to determine and monitor the origin of cell lines and to safeguard against contamination.