The International Histocompatibility Working Group provides a comprehensive inventory of HLA reference genes to support worldwide research in immunogenetics. We also offer selected cell lines and DNA from our substantial DNA Bank of more than 1,000 cell lines from selected families, as well as individuals with diverse ethnicity and immunologic characteristics.
Our collections are hosted by Fred Hutch’s Specimen Processing/Research Cell Bank, which also operates as an invaluable shared resource for Fred Hutch researchers and outside investigators.
The IHWG Cell and DNA Bank offers more than 1000 unique HLA reference samples from the 10th, 12th and 13th IHWS, from HLA heterozygous and homozygous donors, from selected families, and from individuals of diverse population groups. Collectively, these cell lines represent more than 375 unique HLA-A, B, C, DRB1, DQA1, DQB1, DPA1 and DPB1 alleles.
These can be ordered as frozen or growing cell lines or highly pure genomic DNA. DNA may be ordered as individual samples, quality control panels, or reference panels. Additionally, we offer select HLA class I and class II genes in cDNA plasmid or transfected cell line forms.
Select B-LCL from the IHWG Cell and DNA Bank inventory is available to interested investigators. The core inventory consists of more than 1000 cell lines from the 10th, 12th and 13th IHWS, from HLA heterozygous and homozygous donors, from selected families, and from individuals of diverse population groups. Collectively, these cell lines represent more than 375 unique HLA-A, B, C, DRB1, DQA1, DQB1, DPA1 and DPB1 alleles. Cell lines will be shipped as frozen vials on dry ice or in suspension as growing cultures.
Purified genomic DNA from the B-Cell Lines is also available. DNA may be ordered as individual samples, quality control panels, or reference panels. For a list of the available DNA samples with all available HLA typing, please view the PDF or Excel document.
Wild-type and mutant transfectant.
The IHWG reference panels have been compiled to represent a diversity of genes based on population demographics (ethnicities, world regions, relatives) or MHC region characteristics (DQ/DP, MICA, homozygosity, polymorphism, etc.). Each panel varies in number of samples and each sample contains 2ug of purified DNA. Larger microgram amounts are available upon request.
The Consanguineous Reference Panel is composed of 49 cell lines from the 10th workshop which were indicated to be HLA homozygous by descent.
The Anthropology Reference Panel is composed of 15 samples from different regions of the world.
The NK/KIR Phase I Reference Panel is composed of 12 CEPH family groups. Each family group includes a father, mother, and two children. KIR genotypes and KIR haplotypes were identified for each DNA sample during the 13th workshop. The 48 samples were typed using PCR-SSP and PCR-SSOP based methods.
The KIR Phase II Reference Panel consists of a reduced number of samples which are included in the larger NK/KIR Phase I reference panel. NK/KIR Phase II has 4 reference families that make up the 16 samples.
The DQ/DP Reference Panel is a compilation of 41 DNA samples that focus on the DQA1, DQB1, DPA1, and DPB1 regions.
The Major Histocompatibility Complex Class I Chain-Related Gene A (MICA) Reference Panel is derived from 39 samples studied at the 13th workshop in the disease division studying innate immune responses. Samples have been retyped by three independent laboratories in 2016 and 2017 using Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS).
The Sequence Polymorphism (SP) Reference Panel is a combination of 51 DNA samples typed using the highest frequency sequence specific methods possible at the time of the 13th workshop.
We offer select HLA class I and class II genes in cDNA plasmid or transfected cell line forms.
Select HLA class I and class II genes are available in cDNA plasmid forms on a limited basis, as the Cell Bank is unable at this time to replicate any stock cDNA. For a list of the available cDNA inventory, with vector and clone sites, please refer to the PDF or Excel documents.
More than 300 transfected cell lines, including 288 transfected with HLA class I genes and 16 with HLA class II genes, are currently available. Please note that the Transfectant Cell Lines are available on a limited basis, as the Cell Bank is unable at this time to replicate any gene transfection. A list of the available Transfectant Cell Line inventory, including a list of corresponding transfected genes, are available in the PDF or Excel document.
Please refer to the information below if you have questions. You may also contact us for specific inquiries.
The typing method utilized depended on which particular workshop the samples were collected under:
Select cell lines from the IHWG Cell and Gene Bank inventory are being retyped using the Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) at the 17th workshop (2017).
Please indicate that the cell lines were previously collected and studied under International Histocompatibility Workshops & Conferences and obtained directly from the International Histocompatibility Working Group (IHWG) in Seattle, WA.
Neither B-LCL or DNA have expiration dates.
Frozen cells are viable for at least 20 years from our experience, when kept in the appropriate conditions (LN2). When expanding the frozen cells, it is best to freeze down 5 million cell aliquots first, before you use the cell line for your research. Growing cells are viable for 2-3 months, after which they tend to have growth issues due to the number of passages.
Frozen DNA samples continue to have high integrity even after 15 years from our experience, when kept in the appropriate conditions (-20 or -80°C) and the samples are not put through too many freeze-thaw cycles. The more times a DNA sample goes through a freeze-thaw cycle, the more risk there is to cause shearing and degradation. When receiving frozen DNA, it is best to thaw the sample and freeze down a number of aliquots first before use.
Absence of Mycoplasma: The IHWG Cell and Gene bank utilizes the Invivogen PlasmoTest, a cell-based colorimetric assay, for detection of presence of mycoplasma. If positive results are detected using the Invivogen kit, the R&D Systems’ Mycoprobe Kit is employed as an accurate, sensitive RNA-based method for confirmation. With the Mycoprobe kit, the presence of Mycoplasma ribosomal 16S RNA is detected by a colorimetric signal amplification system.
Absence of Bacteria and Fungus: Visual inspection of cultures is usually sufficient to detect whether gross bacterial or fungal contamination, evidenced by turbidity, alterations in cell line appearance and/or color changes in the medium, has occurred. Any suspicious cultures are tested in a reference laboratory for identification of the microorganism and aid in efforts to prevent and contain future infections. All suspicious or verified contaminated cultures are then discarded.
Cell Line Identity: Cell lines may be positively identified using a variety of methods, depending on the level of resolution required (family versus unrelated cell lines) and the number of markers necessary to uniquely identify a given cell line.
HLA typing represents an established method of identification, and many samples in the Cell Bank inventory have historical HLA typing data to serve as a QC benchmark. Various HLA typing techniques (sequencing-based typing [SBT], SSOP and SSP) may be used to assess alleles of the HLA-A, B, C, DR, DQ and DP loci.
Microsatellite (Msat) typing is used to detect stretches of DNA consisting of tandem repeats of a simple nucleotide sequence. These repeats can be easily amplified by PCR and characterized. The detection of multiple Msat loci provides a convenient DNA fingerprint of a given cell line. STRs are tetrameric repeat sequences that can be rapidly determined using a commercial kit. STR alleles are discrete, behave according to known principles of population genetics, and are digital and therefore ideally suited for computer databases.
ABO/sex typing utilizes a PCR reaction for identifying the blood type and sex of an individual sample. This information is used to confirm identity by referencing the sample history.
DNA Purity: Gel electrophoresis is used to identify the size and integrity of genomic DNA. Degraded DNA, consisting of many small fragments, will result in a “smeared” appearance on the gel following electrophoresis.
An OD 260/280 ratio is used to indicate DNA purity. For purified DNA, the 260/280 value should be 1.8, though a range of 1.6 and 2.0 is acceptable. RNA or protein contamination may cause OD 260/280 ratio shift to lower than 1.6 (normally indicating protein contamination) or more than 2.0 (normally indicating RNA contamination).
Your shipment will contain either frozen vials or growing cultures of B-lymphoblastoid cell lines (B-LCL). The cells were grown in our laboratory in RPMI complete medium (Gibco) supplemented with 15% fetal bovine serum (FBS; Gibco/Invitrogen Corp) and 1% 100 mM sodium pyruvate (Gibco). For international shipments, the sample has been frozen in 15% Pooled Human Serum (PHS; Valley Biomedical Corp) to avoid customs issues using bovine materials.
The cells have been quality control tested for mycoplasma, bacteria and other visible contaminants. We use the InvivoGen PlasmoTest kit for detection of mycoplasma. This method detects a metabolic by-product unique to mycoplasmas, but is only useful in detecting viable mycoplasma organisms. We recommend that the cultures be further screened upon receipt using a mycoplasm detection method of your choosing.
We recommend the following additional procedures upon receipt of the cell lines:
Note: Frozen vials should contain approximately 5 x 106 total cells; growing cultures have been shipped at 5 x 106 total cells but somewhat fewer may actually be recovered upon receipt.
Culture tips and guidelines:
Our cells are sensitive to antibiotics and should be grown with no antibiotics in the culture media. The culture media should not have HEPES in it as this will slow cell growth. Please be aware that different cell lines recover at different rates. Some take a day and some take more than a week to begin healthy growth.
Here are some different culture techniques you can try to help with any growth issues:
Check each label to verify that all samples are present. Please contact us immediately with any questions regarding sample identity or problems encountered with the shipment.
“Quick-spin” each tube to bring down the DNA droplets. It is strongly suggested that the concentration of DNA in each sample be verified in your laboratory to ensure that no DNA has been lost during shipment. Aliquot each sample to “working” tubes containing the desired amount of DNA for testing. Freeze all tubes that will not be used immediately at -20ºC or lower. DNA to be used within 2 weeks may be stored at 4ºC. Avoid frequent freeze-thawing of individual DNA samples.