In an effort to increase the credibility of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines established in Korea, obligatory registration was introduced by the Bioethics and Safety Act 2008, effective as of January 1, 2010. The DNA fingerprint, chromosome stability, expression of pluripotency markers, and contamination of mycoplasma of the submitted lines were analyzed by Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). The characterization data and ethical aspects, such as informed consent for donation of surplus embryos, were reviewed by a 10-member advisory review committee for stem cell registry. A total of 55 domestic hESC lines were submitted for registration in 2010; among them 51 were registered. Among these submitted lines, 26 were additionally characterized by KCDC, while 25 lines previously characterized by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology were not additionally analyzed by KCDC. Registration completed an oversight system for embryo research by registering the products of licensed embryo research projects, making embryo research more transparent in Korea. Information about hESC lines is available at the website of the Korea Stem Cell Registry (kscr.nih.go.kr).
Keywords: embryo; human embryonic stem cell (hESC); registry.