Journal of diabetes research

Proteases and protease inhibitors of urinary extracellular vesicles in diabetic nephropathy.

PMID 25874235


Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is one of the major complications of diabetes mellitus (DM), leads to chronic kidney disease (CKD), and, ultimately, is the main cause for end-stage kidney disease (ESKD). Beyond urinary albumin, no reliable biomarkers are available for accurate early diagnostics. Urinary extracellular vesicles (UEVs) have recently emerged as an interesting source of diagnostic and prognostic disease biomarkers. Here we used a protease and respective protease inhibitor array to profile urines of type 1 diabetes patients at different stages of kidney involvement. Urine samples were divided into groups based on the level of albuminuria and UEVs isolated by hydrostatic dialysis and screened for relative changes of 34 different proteases and 32 protease inhibitors, respectively. Interestingly, myeloblastin and its natural inhibitor elafin showed an increase in the normo- and microalbuminuric groups. Similarly, a characteristic pattern was observed in the array of protease inhibitors, with a marked increase of cystatin B, natural inhibitor of cathepsins L, H, and B as well as of neutrophil gelatinase-associated Lipocalin (NGAL) in the normoalbuminuric group. This study shows for the first time the distinctive alterations in comprehensive protease profiles of UEVs in diabetic nephropathy and uncovers intriguing mechanistic, prognostic, and diagnostic features of kidney damage in diabetes.