Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: A novel L1 retrotransposon marker for HeLa cell line identification
Authors: Rahbari, Raheleh
Sheahan, Tom
Modes, Vasileios
Collier, Pam
Macfarlane, Catriona
Badge, Richard M.
First Published: Apr-2009
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
Citation: Biotechniques, 2009, 46 (4), pp. 277-284.
Abstract: The HeLa cell line is the oldest, most widely distributed, permanent human cell line. As a nearly ubiquitous inhabitant of laboratories using tissue culture techniques, its aggressive growth characteristics make it a problematic contaminant that can overgrow less robust cell lines. Consequently, HeLa contamination is common in both the research laboratory and cell line repository contexts, and its detection is hampered by the lack of a rapid, sensitive and robust assay. Here we report the development of a HeLa-specific DNA diagnostic test: a single duplex detection PCR assay targeting an L1 retrotransposon insertion. All HeLa clones from a geographically diverse panel were positive by this assay, and the particular L1 insertion we identified appears to be unique to the HeLa cell line. The assay can detect very low levels of HeLa contamination (<1%), and can be performed on un-purified cell pellets, allowing rapid routine screening.
ISSN: 0736-6205
Type: Article
Description: This paper was published as Biotechniques, 2009, 46 (4), pp. 277-284. It is also available from This paper appears in the LRA with the permission of Biotechniques. Doi: 10.2144/000113089
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Genetics

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
BTN_A_000113089_O_44059a[1].pdf1.16 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in LRA are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.