RNA sequencing identifies novel translational biomarkers of kidney fibrosis

Florin L. Craciun, Vanesa Bijol, Amrendra K. Ajay, Poornima Rao, Ramya K. Kumar, John Hutchinson, Oliver Hofmann, Nikita Joshi, James P. Luyendyk, Ulrike Kusebauch, Christopher L. Moss, Anand Srivastava, Jonathan Himmelfarb, Sushrut S. Waikar, Robert L. Moritz, Vishal S. Vaidya*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


CKD is the gradual, asymptomatic loss of kidney function, but current tests only identify CKD when significant loss has already happened. Several potential biomarkers of CKD have been reported, but none have been approved for preclinical or clinical use. Using RNA sequencing in a mouse model of folic acidinduced nephropathy, we identified ten genes that track kidney fibrosis development, the common pathologic finding in patients with CKD. The gene expression of all ten candidates was confirmed to be significantly higher (approximately ten- to 150-fold) in three well established, mechanistically distinct mouse models of kidney fibrosis than in models of nonfibrotic AKI. Protein expression of these genes was also high in the folic acidmodel and in patients with biopsy-proven kidney fibrosis.mRNAexpression of the ten genes increased with increasing severity of kidney fibrosis, decreased in response to therapeutic intervention, and increased only modestly (approximately two- to five-fold) with liver fibrosis in mice and humans, demonstrating specificity for kidney fibrosis. Using targeted selected reaction monitoring mass spectrometry, we detected three of the ten candidates in human urine: cadherin 11 (CDH11),macrophage mannose receptor C1 (MRC1), and phospholipid transfer protein (PLTP). Furthermore, urinary levels of each of these three proteins distinguished patients with CKD (n=53) from healthy individuals (n=53; P,0.05). In summary, we report the identification of urinary CDH11,MRC1, and PLTP as novel noninvasive biomarkers of CKD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1702-1713
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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