Register of Misidentified Cell Lines

ICLAC curates a Register of cell lines that are known to be misidentified through cross-contamination or other mechanisms (e.g., mislabelling).

The latest version is version 13, released 26 April 2024 | v13 Release Notes
Did you notice the name change? From Database to Register

Previous versions of the Register can be found on the Archive page.

Researchers are very welcome to submit additional information regarding misidentified cell lines not listed here, authentic stocks, or any other relevant information.  Please Contact Us to comment on any additional cell line information.

Terms and Conditions of Use

Creative Commons License
The ICLAC Register of Misidentified Cell Lines is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

  • Attribution should be to the ICLAC Register of Misidentified Cell Lines (
  • Researchers are advised to always use the ICLAC website to download the dataset, ensuring that they view the current and correct version.
  • ICLAC takes no responsibility for any errors or omissions in the Register due to modifications by the end user.
  • Researchers are advised not to modify the entries listed, but to contact ICLAC to request changes using the Contact Us page.
  • Journals, funding bodies and other organisations are welcome to link to the dataset. Organisations are advised to link to this page (, allowing users to access the latest version.

About this Dataset

  • The Register currently lists 593 cell lines.
  • An effort has been made to exclude cell lines that legitimately come from the same donor – for example, if one cell line was intentionally derived from another.
  • 545 cell lines are misidentified with no known authentic stock, and are listed in Table 1.
  • 48 cell lines were initially thought to be misidentified but authentic stock has since been found.  These cell lines are listed separately in Table 2.
  • 78 cell lines do not correspond to the original donor, but the contaminant is unknown.
  • 70 cell lines come from a different species (interspecies contamination), and 9 cell lines come from a non-human species where intraspecies contamination has been detected.
  • 157 different contaminants are listed.  The commonest is HeLa (145 entries), followed by T-24 (21 entries) and M14 (18 entries).

The ICLAC Register of Misidentified Cell Lines was originally developed by Amanda Capes-Davis and Ian Freshney, and published in 2010.  It is now curated by the International Cell Line Authentication Committee.  To cite the dataset or learn more, please refer to:

Capes-Davis A, Theodosopoulos G, Atkin I, Drexler HG, Kohara A, Macleod RA, Masters JR, Nakamura Y, Reid YA, Reddel RR, Freshney RI (2010) Check your cultures! A list of cross-contaminated or misidentified cell lines.  Int J Cancer 127: 1-8. PMID: 20143388.

You might also like to read more about cross-contaminated or misidentified cell lines.  See our reference page with reviews on this topic.

Image Credit: Tom Deerinck, NIGMS, NIH (via NCI Visuals Online). Public domain.