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Biosynthesis and polarized distribution of neutral endopeptidase in primary cultures of kidney proximal tubule cells.

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PMC
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  • Research Article
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  • Biology

Abstract

When cultured in defined medium, kidney proximal convoluted tubule (PCT) cells form a homogeneous population and retain a number of differentiated functions. To characterize this cell system further as a functional model of epithelial polarity, we investigated the biogenic pathway of neutral endopeptidase (NEP), one of the most abundant microvillar membrane proteins in intestinal and kidney cells. We showed that, in contrast with some tumoral cell lines, RNA extracted from PCT cells shows the presence of a single mRNA species encoding NEP. Pulse-chase studies followed by selective immunoprecipitation of NEP molecules present either at the cell surface or in intracellular cell compartments showed that newly synthesized NEP molecules reached the cell surface as early as 30 min after the beginning of the chase with maximum cell surface expression at 60 min. When grown on semipermeable supports, PCT cells were found to target NEP exclusively to the apical plasma membrane. Similar results have been described using MDCK cells to study targeting of recombinant NEP. Thus primary cultures of PCT cells represent a new model with which to investigate the biogenic pathway of endogenous proteins in native epithelial cells.

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