Urinary complement proteins and risk of end-stage renal disease: quantitative urinary proteomics in patients with type 2 diabetes and biopsy-proven diabetic nephropathy

L. Zhao, Y. Zhang, F. Liu, H. Yang, Y. Zhong, Y. Wang, S. Li, Q. Su, L. Tang, L. Bai, H. Ren, Y. Zou, S. Wang, S. Zheng, H. Xu, L. Li, J. Zhang, Z. Chai, M. E. Cooper, N. Tong

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To investigate the association between urinary complement proteins and renal outcome in biopsy-proven diabetic nephropathy (DN). Methods: Untargeted proteomic and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) functional analyses and targeted proteomic analysis using parallel reaction-monitoring (PRM)-mass spectrometry was performed to determine the abundance of urinary complement proteins in healthy controls, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients, and patients with T2DM and biopsy-proven DN. The abundance of each urinary complement protein was individually included in Cox proportional hazards models for predicting progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Results: Untargeted proteomic and functional analysis using the KEGG showed that differentially expressed urinary proteins were primarily associated with the complement and coagulation cascades. Subsequent urinary complement proteins quantification using PRM showed that urinary abundances of C3, C9, and complement factor H (CFAH) correlated negatively with annual estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) decline, while urinary abundances of C5, decay-accelerating factor (DAF), and CD59 correlated positively with annual rate of eGFR decline. Furthermore, higher urinary abundance of CFAH and lower urinary abundance of DAF were independently associated with greater risk of progression to ESRD. Urinary abundance of CFAH and DAF had a larger area under the curve (AUC) than that of eGFR, proteinuria, or any pathological parameter. Moreover, the model that included CFAH or DAF had a larger AUC than that with only clinical or pathological parameters. Conclusion: Urinary abundance of complement proteins was significantly associated with ESRD in patients with T2DM and biopsy-proven DN, indicating that therapeutically targeting the complement pathway may alleviate progression of DN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2709–2723
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Endocrinological Investigation
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Complement
  • Diabetic nephropathy
  • End-stage renal disease
  • Urinary proteomics

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