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Sci Rep. 2017 Dec 5;7(1):16915. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-17083-w.

Association of kidney fibrosis with urinary peptides: a path towards non-invasive liquid biopsies?

Author information

Mosaiques Diagnostics GmbH, Hannover, Germany.
Department of Pediatric Nephrology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.
Department of Nephrology, Medical Faculty, University of Skopje, Skopje, Macedonia.
Department of Nephrology and Transplantation Medicine, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland.
1st Department of Medicine, Third Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.
Department of Nephrology, University Hospital Center "Mother Teresa", Tirana, Albania.
Department of Nephrology, University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", Naples, Italy.
Department of Nephrology, 'Victor Babes' University of Medicine and Pharmacy, County Emergency Hospital, Timisoara, Romania.
IIS-Fundacion Jimenez Diaz UAM, Madrid, Spain.
Clinic of Nephrology, Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia.
School of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia.
Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Skopje, Macedonia.
Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.
Biotechnology Division, Biomedical Research Foundation, Academy of Athens, Athens, Greece.
Nephropathology Center, San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, Italy.
Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease, Toulouse, France.
Université Toulouse III Paul-Sabatier, Toulouse, France.
Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease, Toulouse, France.
Université Toulouse III Paul-Sabatier, Toulouse, France.


Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a prevalent cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. A hallmark of CKD progression is renal fibrosis characterized by excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. In this study, we aimed to investigate the correlation of the urinary proteome classifier CKD273 and individual urinary peptides with the degree of fibrosis. In total, 42 kidney biopsies and urine samples were examined. The percentage of fibrosis per total tissue area was assessed in Masson trichrome stained kidney tissues. The urinary proteome was analysed by capillary electrophoresis coupled to mass spectrometry. CKD273 displayed a significant and positive correlation with the degree of fibrosis (Rho = 0.430, P = 0.0044), while the routinely used parameters (glomerular filtration rate, urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio and urine protein-to-creatinine ratio) did not (Rho = -0.222; -0.137; -0.070 and P = 0.16; 0.39; 0.66, respectively). We identified seven fibrosis-associated peptides displaying a significant and negative correlation with the degree of fibrosis. All peptides were collagen fragments, suggesting that these may be causally related to the observed accumulation of ECM in the kidneys. CKD273 and specific peptides are significantly associated with kidney fibrosis; such an association could not be detected by other biomarkers for CKD. These non-invasive fibrosis-related biomarkers can potentially be implemented in future trials.

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