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The OK cell line derived from the kidney of a female opossum Didelphis virginiana has proven to be a useful model in which to investigate the unique regulation of ion transport and membrane trafficking mechanisms in the proximal tubule (PT). Sequence data and comparison of the transcriptome of this cell line to eutherian mammal PTs would further broaden the utility of this culture model. However, the genomic sequence for D. virginiana is not available and although a draft genome sequence for the opossum Monodelphis domestica (sequenced in 2012 by the Broad Institute) exists, transcripts sequenced from both species show significant divergence. The M. domestica sequence is not highly annotated, and the majority of transcripts are predicted rather than experimentally validated. Using deep RNA sequencing of the D. virginiana OK cell line, we characterized its transcriptome via de novo transcriptome assembly and alignment to the M. domestica genome. The quality of the de novo assembled transcriptome was assessed by the extent of homology to sequences in nucleotide and protein databases. Gene expression levels in the OK cell line, from both the de novo transcriptome and genes aligned to the M. domestica genome, were compared with publicly available rat kidney nephron segment expression data. Our studies demonstrate the expression in OK cells of numerous PT-specific ion transporters and other key proteins relevant for rodent and human PT function. Additionally, the sequence and expression data reported here provide an important resource for genetic manipulation and other studies on PT cell function using these cells. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.


Megan L Eshbach, Rahil Sethi, Raghunandan Avula, Janette Lamb, Deborah J Hollingshead, David N Finegold, Joseph D Locker, Uma R Chandran, Ora A Weisz. The transcriptome of the Didelphis virginiana opossum kidney OK proximal tubule cell line. American journal of physiology. Renal physiology. 2017 Sep 01;313(3):F585-F595

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PMID: 28615248

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