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Diabetes Obes Metab. 2018 Oct;20 Suppl 3:6-13. doi: 10.1111/dom.13416.

An integrative systems biology approach for precision medicine in diabetic kidney disease.

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Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands.
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Department of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics, University of Michigan, Michigan.


Current therapeutic approaches are ineffective in many patients with established diabetic kidney disease (DKD), an epidemic affecting one in three patients with diabetes. Early identification of patients at high risk for progression and individualizing therapies have the potential to mitigate kidney complications due to diabetes. To achieve this, a better understanding of the complex pathophysiology of DKD is needed. A system biology approach integrating large-scale omic data is well suited to unravel the molecular mechanisms driving DKD and may offer new perspectives how to personalize therapy. Recent studies indeed show that integrating genome scale data sets generated from prospectively designed clinical cohort studies with model systems using innovative bioinformatics analysis revealed critical molecular pathways in DKD and led to the development of candidate prognostic molecular biomarkers. This review seeks to provide an overview of the recent progress in the application of the integrative systems biology approaches specifically in the field of molecular biomarkers for DKD. We will mainly focus the discussion on how to use integrative system biology approach to first identify patients at high risk of progression, and second to identify patients who may or may not respond to treatment. Challenges and opportunities in applying precision medicine in DKD will also be discussed.


biomarkers; chronic kidney disease; systems biology; type 2 diabetes

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