Proteins induced by telomere dysfunction are associated with human IgA nephropathy

J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 2014 Jun;15(6):566-74. doi: 10.1631/jzus.B1300115.


Aging is one of the contributing risk factors for kidney diseases. Accumulating evidence prompts the view that telomere length in kidney tissue cells is an indicator for organismal aging. Previously identified aging markers (cathelin-related antimicrobial peptide (CRAMP), stathmin, elongation factor-1α (EF-1α), and chitinase) were associated not only with telomere driven aging in mice but also with human aging and chronic diseases. This study focuses on the relationship between these biomarkers and IgA nephropathy (IgAN) progression in the Chinese population. For 260 individuals, the four markers are determined in blind datasets using direct enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and immunofluorescence staining. The expression levels of CRAMP and chitinase increased in blood plasma, urine, and kidney tissues during human IgAN progression. And for the other nephropathy, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), diabetic nephropathy (DN), and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), there is no protein upregulation with telomere shortening. Moreover, a combination of CRAMP and chitinase can distinguish patients with IgAN from healthy individuals with 88.2%/92.5% (plasma) and 74.3%/84.2% (urine) sensitivity/specificity. These data provide the experimental evidence that telomere shortening and related inflammatory proteins are associated with human IgAN, and it could be a new direction for the disease progression study.

Keywords: Biomarkers; IgA nephropathy (IgAN); Telomere.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cathelicidins / metabolism*
  • Chitinases / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Glomerulonephritis, IGA / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Peptide Elongation Factor 1 / metabolism*
  • Stathmin / metabolism*
  • Telomere / physiology
  • Telomere Homeostasis / physiology
  • Telomere Shortening / physiology*


  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • Biomarkers
  • Cathelicidins
  • Peptide Elongation Factor 1
  • Stathmin
  • Chitinases