Cell line DNA typing in forensic genetics--the necessity of reliable standards

Forensic Sci Int. 2003 Dec 17;138(1-3):37-43. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2003.09.002.


The incorporation of reference DNA is crucial to the validation of any DNA typing protocol. This paper aims to provide a panel of reference DNAs for actual forensic profiling strategies, i.e. autosomal and gonosomal STR typing as well as mtDNA sequencing. We have characterised three human lymphoid cell lines, GM9947, GM9948 and GM3657, and considered 58 autosomal and gonosomal microsatellites as well as the mitochondrial control region sequence. Well-established markers and STRs recently developed for forensic use were involved. K562 DNA samples which we purchased from two different suppliers were also analysed. They revealed conflicting results with regard to the ChrX STR marker genotype. Hence, we suggest that K562 is no longer used for the calibration of profiling techniques. Our investigation establishes a panel of one female and two male DNA samples as an STR allelic ladder calibration tool and offers information on six alleles of each autosome (AS) marker, three alleles of each X chromosome (ChrX) marker and two alleles of each ChrY marker. In addition, sequences of the mitochondrial control region of the three DNAs are communicated in order to provide sequencing quality control.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • DNA Fingerprinting / standards*
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • K562 Cells
  • Male
  • Quality Control
  • Reference Standards
  • Tandem Repeat Sequences*


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Mitochondrial