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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2010 Apr;1804(4):653-61. doi: 10.1016/j.bbapap.2009.09.029. Epub 2009 Oct 22.

Quantitative mass spectrometry of diabetic kidney tubules identifies GRAP as a novel regulator of TGF-beta signaling.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY, USA.


The aim of this study was to define novel mediators of tubule injury in diabetic kidney disease. For this, we used state-of-the-art proteomic methods combined with a label-free quantitative strategy to define protein expression differences in kidney tubules from transgenic OVE26 type 1 diabetic and control mice. The analysis was performed with diabetic samples that displayed a pro-fibrotic phenotype. We have identified 476 differentially expressed proteins. Bioinformatic analysis indicated several clusters of regulated proteins in relevant functional groups such as TGF-beta signaling, tight junction maintenance, oxidative stress, and glucose metabolism. Mass spectrometry detected expression changes of four physiologically relevant proteins were confirmed by immunoblot analysis. Of these, the Grb2-related adaptor protein (GRAP) was up-regulated in kidney tubules from diabetic mice and fibrotic kidneys from diabetic patients, and subsequently confirmed as a novel component of TGF-beta signaling in cultured human renal tubule cells. Thus, indicating a potential novel role for GRAP in TGF-beta-induced tubule injury in diabetic kidney disease. Although we targeted a specific disease, this approach offers a robust, high-sensitivity methodology that can be applied to the discovery of novel mediators for any experimental or disease condition.

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