Primary and Immortalized Cultures of Human Proximal Tubule Cells Possess Both Progenitor and Non-Progenitor Cells That Can Impact Experimental Results

J Pers Med. 2023 Mar 31;13(4):613. doi: 10.3390/jpm13040613.


Studies have reported the presence of renal proximal tubule specific progenitor cells which co-express PROM1 and CD24 markers on the cell surface. The RPTEC/TERT cell line is a telomerase-immortalized proximal tubule cell line that expresses two populations of cells, one co-expressing PROM1 and CD24 and another expressing only CD24, identical to primary cultures of human proximal tubule cells (HPT). The RPTEC/TERT cell line was used by the authors to generate two new cell lines, HRTPT co-expressing PROM1 and CD24 and HREC24T expressing only CD24. The HRTPT cell line has been shown to express properties expected of renal progenitor cells while HREC24T expresses none of these properties. The HPT cells were used in a previous study to determine the effects of elevated glucose concentrations on global gene expression. This study showed the alteration of expression of lysosomal and mTOR associated genes. In the present study, this gene set was used to determine if pure populations of cells expressing both PROM1 and CD24 had different patterns of expression than those expressing only CD24 when exposed to elevated glucose concentrations. In addition, experiments were performed to determine whether cross-talk might occur between the two cell lines based on their expression of PROM1 and CD24. It was shown that the expression of the mTOR and lysosomal genes was altered in expression between the HRTPT and HREC24T cell lines based on their PROM1 and CD24 expression. Using metallothionein (MT) expression as a marker demonstrated that both cell lines produced condition media that could alter the expression of the MT genes. It was also determined that PROM1 and CD24 co-expression was limited in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) cell lines.

Keywords: CD24; PROM1; RCC; cancer stem cell; conditioned medium; glucose; kidney progenitor cells.