The use of cell lines in research can be affected by cell line misidentification. Short tandem repeat (STR) analysis is an effective method, and the gold standard, for the identification of the genetic origin of a cell line, but methods that allow the discrimination between cell lines of the same genetic origin are lacking. Here, we use intact cell MALDI-ToF mass spectrometry analysis, routinely used for the identification of bacteria in clinical diagnostic procedures, for the authentication of a set of cell lines consisting of three parental neuroblastoma cell lines (IMR-5, IMR-32 and UKF-NB-3) and eleven drug-adapted sublines. Principal component analysis (PCA) of intact-cell MALDI-ToF mass spectrometry data revealed clear differences between most, but not all, of the investigated cell lines. Mass spectrometry whole-cell fingerprints enabled the separation of IMR-32 and its clonal subline IMR-5. Sublines that had been adapted to closely related drugs, for example, the cisplatin- and oxaliplatin-resistant UKF-NB-3 sublines and the vincristine- and vinblastine-adapted IMR-5 sublines, also displayed clearly distinctive patterns. In conclusion, intact whole-cell MALDI-ToF mass spectrometry has the potential to be further developed into an authentication method for mammalian cells of a common genetic origin.
Cells, Basel : MDPI, 2012-, 8, 2019, H. 10, S. 1-12, 12, Art. 1194, 2073-4409