Urinary proteomics studies have primarily focused on identifying markers of chronic kidney disease (CKD) progression. Here, we aimed to determine urinary markers of CKD renal parenchymal injury through proteomics analysis in animal kidney tissues and cells and in the urine of patients with CKD. Label-free quantitative proteomics analysis based on liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was performed on urine samples obtained from 6 normal controls and 9, 11, and 10 patients with CKD stages 1, 3, and 5, respectively, and on kidney tissue samples from a rat CKD model by 5/6 nephrectomy. Tandem mass tag-based quantitative proteomics analysis was performed for primary cultured glomerular endothelial cells (GECs) and proximal tubular epithelial cells (PTECs) before and after inducing 24-h hypoxia injury. Upon hierarchical clustering, out of 858 differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) in the urine of CKD patients, the levels of 416 decreased and 403 increased sequentially according to the disease stage, respectively. Among 2965 DEPs across 5/6 nephrectomized and sham-operated rat kidney tissues, 86 DEPs showed same expression patterns in the urine and kidney tissue. After cross-validation with two external animal proteome datasets, 38 DEPs were organized; only 10 DEPs, including serotransferrin, gelsolin, poly ADP-ribose polymerase 1, neuroblast differentiation-associated protein AHNAK, microtubule-associated protein 4, galectin-1, protein S, thymosin beta-4, myristoylated alanine-rich C-kinase substrate, and vimentin were finalized by screening human GECs and PTECs data. Among these ten potential candidates for universal CKD marker, validation analyses for protein S and galectin-1 were conducted. Galectin-1 was observed to have a significant inverse correlation with renal function as well as higher expression in glomerulus with chronic injury than protein S. This constitutes the first multi-sample proteomics study for identifying key renal-expressed proteins associated with CKD progression. The discovered proteins represent potential markers of chronic renal cell and tissue damage and candidate contributors to CKD pathophysiology.
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