Genetic profiling reveals cross-contamination and misidentification of 6 adenoid cystic carcinoma cell lines: ACC2, ACC3, ACCM, ACCNS, ACCS and CAC2

PLoS One. 2009 Jun 25;4(6):e6040. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006040.


Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is the second most common malignant neoplasm of the salivary glands. Most patients survive more than 5 years after surgery and postoperative radiation therapy. The 10 year survival rate, however, drops to 40%, due to locoregional recurrences and distant metastases. Improving long-term survival in ACC requires the development of more effective systemic therapies based on a better understanding of the biologic behavior of ACC. Much preclinical research in this field involves the use of cultured cells and, to date, several ACC cell lines have been established. Authentication of these cell lines, however, has not been reported. We performed DNA fingerprint analysis on six ACC cell lines using short tandem repeat (STR) examinations and found that all six cell lines had been contaminated with other cells. ACC2, ACC3, and ACCM were determined to be cervical cancer cells (HeLa cells), whereas the ACCS cell line was composed of T24 urinary bladder cancer cells. ACCNS and CAC2 cells were contaminated with cells derived from non-human mammalian species: the cells labeled ACCNS were mouse cells and the CAC2 cells were rat cells. These observations suggest that future studies using ACC cell lines should include cell line authentication to avoid the use of contaminated or non-human cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Adenoid Cystic / classification*
  • Carcinoma, Adenoid Cystic / genetics*
  • Cell Line, Tumor*
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / genetics
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / classification*
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / classification
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / genetics


  • Electron Transport Complex IV