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RPTEC/TERT1 is an hTERT-immortalized epithelial cell that was isolated from the proximal tubule of a male patient. This cell line was deposited by R Grillari-Voglauer in 2004 and can be used in toxicology research.
Product category
Human cells
Product type
hTERT-immortalized cell
Homo sapiens, human
Cell type
epithelial cell
kidney; Cortex; Epithelium; Proximal tubule
3D cell culture
Drug development
High-throughput screening
Product format
Storage conditions
Vapor phase of liquid nitrogen
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ATCC determines the biosafety level of a material based on our risk assessment as guided by the current edition of Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is your responsibility to understand the hazards associated with the material per your organization’s policies and procedures as well as any other applicable regulations as enforced by your local or national agencies.

Cells contain SV40 sequences

ATCC highly recommends that appropriate personal protective equipment is always used when handling vials. For cultures that require storage in liquid nitrogen, it is important to note that some vials may leak when submersed in liquid nitrogen and will slowly fill with liquid nitrogen. Upon thawing, the conversion of the liquid nitrogen back to its gas phase may result in the vial exploding or blowing off its cap with dangerous force creating flying debris. Unless necessary, ATCC recommends that these cultures be stored in the vapor phase of liquid nitrogen rather than submersed in liquid nitrogen.

Required Products

These products are vital for the proper use of this item and have been confirmed as effective in supporting functionality. If you use alternative products, the quality and effectiveness of the item may be affected.

Detailed product information


Specific applications
These cells are proposed to be a valuable model system not only for cell biology, but also toxicology, drug screening, biogerontology and tissue engineering.


1.0 mL
Growth properties
Immortalization method
pLXSN-hTERT retroviral transfection
Antigen expression
This cell line is positive for epithelial marker pan-cytokeratin (immunocytochemistry)(verified at ATCC), positive for epithelial cell adhesion molecule E-cadherin (immunocytochemistry) (verified at ATCC), 

The RPTEC/TERT1 cells express both Aminopeptidase N (verified at ATCC) and γ-Glutamyl Transferase (GGT) that are located in the brush border of the renal proximal tubular epithelium.

The RPTEC/TERT1 cells specifically respond to parathyroid hormone (PTH) but not arginine vasopressin (AVP), and react with enhanced ammonia genesis on lowering of the environmental pH.

The RPTEC/TERT1 cells exhibit sodium-dependent uptake of phosphate as well as intact functionality of the megalin/cubilin transport system.

RPTEC/TERT1 cells show the characteristic morphology and functional properties of normal proximal tubular epithelial cells.

When cultured on the Corning™ Transwell™ Permeable membrane cell culture insert, the RPTEC/TERT1 cells at confluence form intact functional barrier as indicated by stabilized Trans-Epithelial Electrical Resistance (TEER) across the membrane.

Handling information

Unpacking and storage instructions
  1. Check all containers for leakage or breakage.
  2. Remove the frozen cells from the dry ice packaging and immediately place the cells at a temperature below ­-130°C, preferably in liquid nitrogen vapor, until ready for use.
Complete medium
The base medium for this cell line is ATCC-formulated DMEM:F12 Medium (ATCC® 30-2006™).

To make the complete growth medium, add hTERT RPTEC Growth Kit (ATCC® ACS-4007™) to the base medium. The final concentration for each growth kit component in the complete hTERT immortalized RPTEC growth medium is as follows:  

  • 5 pM triiodo-L-thyronine
  • 10 ng/mL recombinant human EGF
  • 3.5 µg/mL ascorbic acid
  • 5.0 µg/mL human transferrin
  • 5.0 µg/mL insulin
  • 25 ng/mL prostaglandin E1
  • 25 ng/mL hydrocortisone
  • 8.65 ng/mL sodium selenite
  • 1.2 mg/mL sodium bicarbonate

Required but not supplied: G418 solution MUST be added to the above medium to a final concentration of 0.1 mg/mL G418 to maintain the selective pressure for immortalization

Note: Do not filter complete medium.

This medium is formulated for use with a 5% CO2 in air atmosphere.

95% Air, 5% CO2
Handling procedure

To ensure the highest level of viability, thaw the vial and initiate the culture as soon as possible upon receipt. If storage of the frozen culture is necessary upon arrival, store the vial in liquid nitrogen vapor phase and NOT at -70°C. Storage at -70°C will result in loss of viability.

  1. Prepare a 25 cm2 or a 75 cm2 culture flask containing the recommended complete culture medium. Prior to the addition of the vial contents, the vessel containing the growth medium should be placed in the incubator for at least 15 minutes to allow the medium to reach its normal pH (7.0 to 7.6) and to avoid excessive alkalinity of the medium during recovery of the cells.
  2. Thaw the vial by gentle agitation in a 37°C water bath. To reduce the possibility of contamination, keep the O-ring and cap out of the water. Thawing should be rapid (approximately 2 minutes).
  3. Remove the vial from the water bath as soon as the contents are thawed, and decontaminate by dipping in or spraying with 70% ethanol. All operations from this point on should be carried out under strict aseptic conditions.
  4. Transfer the vial contents to a centrifuge tube containing 9.0 mL of complete culture medium and centrifuge the cell suspension at approximately 250 x g  for 5 to 7 minutes. 
  5. Discard the supernatant and resuspend the cells in fresh growth medium (see the batch-specific information for the recommended dilution ratio). Add this suspension to the prepared culture vessel.
  6. Incubate the culture at 37°C in a suitable incubator. 
  7. A 5% CO2/95% air atmosphere is recommended if using the medium described on this product sheet.
Subculturing procedure
Volumes are given for a 75 cm2 flask; proportionally reduce or increase amount of dissociation medium for culture vessels of other sizes.
  1. Subculture when the culture is about 90% confluence. Expected cell yield is between 1.5 x 105 and 2 x 105 viable cells/cm2.
  2. Remove and discard culture medium.
  3. Add 2.0 to 3.0 mL of Trypsin-EDTA for Primary Cells (ATCC PCS-999-003) to the flask and observe cells under an inverted microscope until the cell layer is dispersed (usually within 3 to 8 minutes). Note: To avoid clumping do not agitate the cells by hitting or shaking the flask while waiting for the cells to detach. Place at 37°C to facilitate dispersal.
  4. To stop trypsinization, add 2.0 to 3.0 mL of 0.1% Soybean Trypsin Inhibitor and aspirate cells by gently pipetting.
  5. Transfer cell suspension to a 15-mL centrifuge tube and spin at approximately 250 x g for 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Discard supernatant and resuspend cells in fresh growth medium. Add appropriate aliquots of the cell suspension to new culture vessels. An inoculum of 4 to 6 x 104 viable cells/cm2 is recommended.
  7. Incubate cultures at 37°C.
Subcultivation ratio: A subcultivation ratio of 1:3 to 1:4 is recommended.
Medium renewal: 2 to 3 times weekly
Note: For more information on enzymatic dissociation and subculturing of cell lines consult Chapter 13 in Culture Of Aminal Cells: A Manual of Basic Techniques by R. Ian Freshney, 5th edition, published by Wiley-Liss, N.Y., 2005.
Reagents for cryopreservation
Complete culture medium + 10% DMSO
Storage temperature: liquid nitrogen vapor phase

Quality control specifications

Mycoplasma contamination
Not detected
Population doubling capacity
≥ 15 in complete growth medium
STR profiling
Amelogenin: X,Y
CSF1PO: 11
D13S317: 11,13
D16S539: 11,12
D5S818: 9,11
D7S820: 10
TH01: 9,9.3
TPOX: 8,11
vWA: 16,18
D3S1358: 14,16
D21S11: 29,30
D18S51: 11,20
Penta_E: 5,17
Penta_D: 10,13
D8S1179: 13,15
FGA: 21,22
D19S433: 13,15
D2S1338: 19,25


R Grillari-Voglauer
Year of origin

Legal disclaimers

Intended use
This product is intended for laboratory research use only. It is not intended for any animal or human therapeutic use, any human or animal consumption, or any diagnostic use.

The product is provided 'AS IS' and the viability of ATCC® products is warranted for 30 days from the date of shipment, provided that the customer has stored and handled the product according to the information included on the product information sheet, website, and Certificate of Analysis. For living cultures, ATCC lists the media formulation and reagents that have been found to be effective for the product. While other unspecified media and reagents may also produce satisfactory results, a change in the ATCC and/or depositor-recommended protocols may affect the recovery, growth, and/or function of the product. If an alternative medium formulation or reagent is used, the ATCC warranty for viability is no longer valid.  Except as expressly set forth herein, no other warranties of any kind are provided, express or implied, including, but not limited to, any implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, manufacture according to cGMP standards, typicality, safety, accuracy, and/or noninfringement.


This product is intended for laboratory research use only. It is not intended for any animal or human therapeutic use, any human or animal consumption, or any diagnostic use. Any proposed commercial use is prohibited without a license from ATCC.

While ATCC uses reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information on this product sheet, ATCC makes no warranties or representations as to its accuracy. Citations from scientific literature and patents are provided for informational purposes only. ATCC does not warrant that such information has been confirmed to be accurate or complete and the customer bears the sole responsibility of confirming the accuracy and completeness of any such information.

This product is sent on the condition that the customer is responsible for and assumes all risk and responsibility in connection with the receipt, handling, storage, disposal, and use of the ATCC product including without limitation taking all appropriate safety and handling precautions to minimize health or environmental risk. As a condition of receiving the material, the customer agrees that any activity undertaken with the ATCC product and any progeny or modifications will be conducted in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and guidelines. This product is provided 'AS IS' with no representations or warranties whatsoever except as expressly set forth herein and in no event shall ATCC, its parents, subsidiaries, directors, officers, agents, employees, assigns, successors, and affiliates be liable for indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages of any kind in connection with or arising out of the customer's use of the product. While reasonable effort is made to ensure authenticity and reliability of materials on deposit, ATCC is not liable for damages arising from the misidentification or misrepresentation of such materials.

Please see the material transfer agreement (MTA) for further details regarding the use of this product. The MTA is available at

Permits & Restrictions

Material Transfer Agreement Addendum for Screening Applications

For-profit organizations
For every order of this item, you must provide a signed Material Transfer Agreement Addendum for Screening Applications. We cannot ship this item until we receive this addendum. The person signing the addendum as the principal investigator must match the end user as listed on the applicable sales order for the item.

Email the signed addendum to [email protected] with a reference to both your account and sales order numbers. Once received, your addendum will be reviewed, and this item will be released for shipment if all requirements are met. Additional fees may apply if this product is being used for a screening use (ATCC ACS-2103F), and these fees will be applied after your order is confirmed. If you need assistance with your order, please contact our Customer Care team or your applicable distributor.

Import Permit for the State of Hawaii

If shipping to the U.S. state of Hawaii, you must provide either an import permit or documentation stating that an import permit is not required. We cannot ship this item until we receive this documentation. Contact the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA), Plant Industry Division, Plant Quarantine Branch to determine if an import permit is required.



Curated Citations

Wieser M, et al. hTERT alone immortalizes epithelial cells of renal proximal tubules without changing their functional characteristics. Am. J. Physiol. Renal Physiol. 295: 1365-1375, 2008. PubMed: 18715936

Bodnar AG, et al. Extension of life-span by introduction of telomerase into normal human cells. Science 279: 349-352, 1998. PubMed: 9454332

Freshney RI. Culture of Animal Cells: A Manual of Basic Technique, 5th edition. New York: Wiley Liss; 2005. For more information on enzymatic dissociation and subculturing of cell lines see Chapter 13.

Limonciel A, et al. Comparison of base-line and chemical-induced transcriptomic responses in HepaRG and RPTEC/TERT1 cells using TempO-Seq. Arch Toxicol 92(8):2517-2531, 2018. PubMed: 30008028

Simon-Friedt BR, et al. The RPTEC/TERT1 Cell Line as an Improved Tool for In Vitro Nephrotoxicity Assessments. Biol Trace Elem Res 166(1):66-71, 2015. PubMed: 25893367

View All Curated Citations for this Product

Frequently Asked Questions

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