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Analysis of urinary proteins by 2D gel electrophoresis might one day provide a non-invasive alternative to renal biopsies, currently the only foolproof method of distinguishing between certain kidney diseases.

In a paper published March 25 in Current Science, a publication of the Indian Institute of Science, Utpal Tatu, an assistant professor of biochemistry at IIS, and his collaborators used 2D gel electrophoresis and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry to identify differences in the protein profiles of patients with kidney failure, nephrotic syndrome, and microalbuminaria.

From their 2D gel analysis, the researchers found that samples taken from patients with kidney failure presented predominantly low molecular weight proteins, while nephrotic syndrome patients showed an abundance of relatively high molecular weight proteins clustered in the acidic range of the gels.

In addition, Tatu’s team identified five proteins from the gels via MALDI-TOF analysis, and found only one in common between patients with kidney failure and nephrotic syndrome.

“You can call this proteomics of biological fluids,” said Tatu. “We’re trying to create a qualitative and quantitative database that would link specific sets of proteins to specific diseases,” he added.

—Ganapati S. Mudur

 

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