Biomarker Research on Chronic Kidney Disease
Mentor:Jim Osborne, Professor of Applied Life Sciences, Director of the Center for Biomarker Research,, Keck Graduate Institute
Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial steps for slowing down the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD), yet current methods are only capable of detecting advanced stages of the disease after irreversible damage has already taken place. CKD patients show signs of vitamin deficiency, and rat models of CKD show decreased expression of folate and thiamine transporters. In this study we compared levels of four vitamin transporter proteins in human urine from healthy individuals, early-stage CKD patients, and late-stage CKD patients. We established working protocols for three out of four of the target proteins using commercial kits for concentrating urine proteins, Bradford protein assays, and Western blot analysis. Compared to healthy individuals, reduced folate carrier vitamin transporter protein was present at higher levels in urine from patients with advanced stages of CKD. Levels of thiamine transporter 2 and proton coupled folate transporter were similar in the urine from CKD patients and healthy individuals. Future studies will focus on more quantitative measurement of reduced folate carrier protein in urine from patients at different stages of chronic kidney disease.