Comparative differential proteomic analysis of minimal change disease and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis

Vanessa Pérez, Dolores López, Ester Boixadera, Meritxell Ibernón, Anna Espinal, Josep Bonet, Ramón Romero

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11 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 The Author(s). Background: Minimal change disease (MCD) and primary focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) are glomerular diseases characterized by nephrotic syndrome. Their diagnosis requires a renal biopsy, but it is an invasive procedure with potential complications. In a small biopsy sample, where only normal glomeruli are observed, FSGS cannot be differentiated from MCD. The correct diagnosis is crucial to an effective treatment, as MCD is normally responsive to steroid therapy, whereas FSGS is usually resistant. The purpose of our study was to discover and validate novel early urinary biomarkers capable to differentiate between MCD and FSGS. Methods: Forty-nine patients biopsy-diagnosed of MCD and primary FSGS were randomly subdivided into a training set (10 MCD, 11 FSGS) and a validation set (14 MCD, 14 FSGS). The urinary proteome of the training set was analyzed by two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis coupled with mass spectrometry. The proteins identified were quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in urine samples from the validation set. Results: Urinary concentration of alpha-1 antitrypsin, transferrin, histatin-3 and 39S ribosomal protein L17 was decreased and calretinin was increased in FSGS compared to MCD. These proteins were used to build a decision tree capable to predict patient's pathology. Conclusions: This preliminary study suggests a group of urinary proteins as possible non-invasive biomarkers with potential value in the differential diagnosis of MCD and FSGS. These biomarkers would reduce the number of misdiagnoses, avoiding unnecessary or inadequate treatments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number49
JournalBMC Nephrology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2017


  • 2D-DIGE
  • Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis
  • Glomerular disease
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Minimal change disease
  • Proteomics
  • Urine


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