Glycosylation Profile of IgG in Moderate Kidney Dysfunction

J Am Soc Nephrol. 2016 Mar;27(3):933-41. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2015010109. Epub 2015 Jul 16.


Glycans constitute the most abundant and diverse form of the post-translational modifications, and animal studies have suggested the involvement of IgG glycosylation in mechanisms of renal damage. Here, we explored the associations between IgG glycans and renal function in 3274 individuals from the TwinsUK registry. We analyzed the correlation between renal function measured as eGFR and 76 N-glycan traits using linear regressions adjusted for covariates and multiple testing in the larger population. We replicated our results in 31 monozygotic twin pairs discordant for renal function. Results from both analyses were then meta-analyzed. Fourteen glycan traits were associated with renal function in the discovery sample (P<6.5×10(-4)) and remained significant after validation. Those glycan traits belong to three main glycosylation features: galactosylation, sialylation, and level of bisecting N-acetylglucosamine of the IgG glycans. These results show the role of IgG glycosylation in kidney function and provide novel insight into the pathophysiology of CKD and potential diagnostic and therapeutic targets.

Keywords: clinical nephrology; glycation; renal function decline.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Twin Study

MeSH terms

  • Acetylglucosamine / metabolism
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Galactose / metabolism
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Glycosylation*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood*
  • Immunoglobulin G / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Structure
  • Polysaccharides / blood*
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / blood*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Young Adult


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Polysaccharides
  • agalactosyl IGG
  • Acetylglucosamine
  • Galactose