Proteomic profiling identifies haptoglobin as a potential serum biomarker for steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome.

Research paper by Qiong Q Wen, Lan-Ting LT Huang, Ning N Luo, Yong-Tao YT Wang, Xiao-Yan XY Li, Hai-Ping HP Mao, Li L Zhang, Xiu-Qing XQ Dong, Xue-Qing XQ Yu

Indexed on: 05 Jul '12Published on: 05 Jul '12Published in: American journal of nephrology


Long-term outcomes for patients with adult idiopathic nephrotic syndrome correlate closely with steroid responsiveness. The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate the difference in serum proteomes between steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome (SSNS) and steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS) patients and identify potential biomarkers for the prediction of SRNS.We performed a gel-based proteomic study of serum obtained from SRNS and SSNS patients and healthy controls at the time of presentation (n = 6 for each group). Proteins from the serum samples were separated using 2-D electrophoresis, digested in-gel and subjected to MALDI-TOF-MS/MS analysis. Further validation was performed utilizing Western blot and ELISA. The sensitivities and specificities of the candidate proteins for predicting SRNS were determined using receiver operating characteristic curves.Thirteen differentially expressed proteins were identified as haptoglobin (Hp) with different isoelectric points and molecular weights. Western blot and ELISA analysis of samples from 146 subjects (healthy controls = 52, SSNS = 54, SRNS = 40) showed a markedly increased level of Hp in the serum, but not urine, of SRNS compared to SSNS patients. The optimal serum cutoff level of Hp was set at ≥1,279 µg/ml using the receiver operating characteristic curve. The sensitivity and specificity for predicting SRNS were 85.0 and 96.3%, respectively.This study provides a novel overview of the difference in serum proteomes of SSNS and SRNS patients. Serum Hp may be a useful predictive biomarker for steroid therapy efficacy in the treatment of idiopathic nephrotic syndrome.