Model for Study of Glomerular Disorders: Conditionally-Immortalized Mouse Podocyte Cell Line with Tet-on-Regulated Gene Expression

Podocytes, cells of the visceral epithelium in the kidneys, are a key component of the glomerular filtration barrier. As such, they play a vital role in glomerular disorders, which are a major cause of chronic kidney disease. Examples of these disorders include focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, membranous glomerulonephritis, minimal change disease, and diabetic nephropathy.

The inventors have developed a conditionally-immortalized mouse podocyte cell line with tightly controlled conditional gene expression. The cell line has been conditionally immortalized through the introduction of the H-2Kb-tsA58 transgene, which is a temperature-sensitive mutant of the SV40T antigen. Inducible gene expression is tightly controlled through two introduced transgenes, podocin-rtTA and CMV-tTS, that produce a "Tet-on" system wherein gene expression is induced by tetracycline or doxycycline. The combination of the two transgenes for Tet-on gene expression has resulted in much tighter regulation and lower background expression compared to cells carrying the podocin-rtTA transgene alone.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Model system for study of glomerular disorders
  • Model system for podocyte cell biology


Jeffrey Kopp (NIDDK)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
Research Material – Patent protection is not being pursued for this technology.


Shigehara T, et al.

PMID 12874453

Collaboration Opportunity:

The NIDDK Kidney Disease Section is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize a model system for the study of glomerular disorders. Please contact Jeffrey B. Kopp, M.D., by phone (301/594-3403), fax (301/402-0014) or e-mail ( for more information.

Licensing Contact:
Vladimir Knezevic, M.D.
Phone: 301.443.5560

OTT Reference No: E-049-2007-0
Updated: May 14, 2018