Biomarker discovery in urine by proteomics

J Proteome Res. Mar-Apr 2002;1(2):161-9. doi: 10.1021/pr015518w.


A hypothesis was formed that it would be possible to isolate an adequate amount of protein from a patient, having normal renal function, to identify biological markers of a particular disease state using a variety of proteomics techniques. To support this hypothesis, three samples of urine were collected from a volunteer: first when healthy, later when experiencing acute inflammation due to a pilonidal abcess, and again later still after successful recovery from the condition. The urine from these samples was processed by solid-phase extraction to concentrate and desalt the endogenous proteins and peptides. The proteins and peptides from these urine samples were analyzed in three different experiments: (1) traditional two-dimensional gel electrophoresis followed by proteolysis and mass spectrometric identification of various protein spots, (2) whole mixture proteolysis followed by one-dimensional packed capillary liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry, (3) whole mixture proteolysis followed by two-dimensional capillary liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry. In all three cases, a set of proteins was identified representing putative biomarkers. Each of these proteins was then found to have been previously linked in the scientific literature to inflammation. One acute phase reactant in particular, orosomucoid, was readily observed in all three experiments to dramatically increase in abundance, thereby supporting the hypothesis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional
  • Humans
  • Orosomucoid / analysis
  • Proteomics*
  • Urine / chemistry*


  • Biomarkers
  • Orosomucoid