Cellosaurus is an online knowledge resource on cell lines, which attempts to document all cell lines used in biomedical research.[1] It is provided by the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB) as one of its contributions[2][failed verification] to ELIXIR. It is the contributing resource for cell lines on the Resource Identification Portal.[3] As of April 2020, it contains information for approximately 118,000 cell lines.[4]

DescriptionCellosaurus: a knowledge resource on cell lines
Data types
Cell lines
OrganismsVertebrate, Insect, Tick
Research centerSwiss Institute of Bioinformatics
AuthorsAmos Bairoch
Data formatFlat file database, OBO and XML
Download URLftp://ftp.expasy.org/databases/cellosaurus
LicenseCreative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs
Data release
4 to 6 releases per year
Curation policyYes - manual
Yes - individual cell line entries

Its scope includes immortalised cell lines, naturally immortal cell lines (example: embryonic stem cells) and finite life cell lines when those are distributed and used widely. The Cellosaurus provides a wealth of manually curated information; for each cell line it lists a recommended name, synonyms and the species of origin. Other types of information include standardised disease terminology (for cancer or genetic disorder cell lines), the transformant used to immortalise a cell line, transfected or knocked-out genes, microsatellite instability, doubling time, gender and age of donor (patient or animal), important sequence variations, web links, publication references and cross-references to more than 70 different databases, ontologies, cell collections and other relevant resources.[5]

Since many cell lines used in research have been misidentified or contaminated, the Cellosaurus keeps track of problematic cell lines, including all those listed in the International Cell Line Authentication Committee (ICLAC)[6] tables. For human as well as some dog cell lines, it provides short tandem repeat (STR) profile information. Since July 2018, all cell lines in the Cellosaurus are represented as items in Wikidata.[7] In March 2020, the Cellosaurus created a page containing cell line information relevant to SARS-CoV-2 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.[8][9]


  1. ^ Bairoch Amos (2018). "The Cellosaurus, a cell-line knowledge resource". Journal of Biomolecular Techniques. 29 ([Epub ahead of print): 1–14. doi:10.7171/jbt.18-2902-002. PMC 5945021. PMID 29805321.
  2. ^ "Services | ELIXIR".
  3. ^ https://scicrunch.org/resources/Cell%20Lines/source/SCR_013869-1/search?q=%2A&l=
  4. ^ "ExPASy - Cellosaurus". web.expasy.org. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  5. ^ "Description of the Cellosaurus - a knowledge resource on cell lines". web.expasy.org. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  6. ^ http://iclac.org/wp-content/uploads/Cross-Contaminations-v8_0.pdf
  7. ^ Bairoch, A (2018). "The Cellosaurus, a Cell-Line Knowledge Resource". J Biomol Tech. 29 (2).
  8. ^ Cellosaurus (2020-03-23). "IMPORTANT: we have created a page on the #Cellosaurus web site to help researchers using #celllines to study SARS-CoV-2: https://web.expasy.org/cellosaurus/sars-cov-2.html … We plan to update this page quite frequently #COVID19". @Cellosaurus. Retrieved 2020-04-13. External link in |title= (help)
  9. ^ "Cellosaurus - SARS-CoV-2 relevant information". web.expasy.org. Retrieved 2020-04-14.

External linksEdit