1 H NMR-based metabolomics exploring urinary biomarkers correlated with proteinuria in focal segmental glomerulosclerosis: a pilot study

Magn Reson Chem. 2016 Oct;54(10):821-826. doi: 10.1002/mrc.4460. Epub 2016 Jun 19.


Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is a common glomerulonephritis, and its rates of occurrence are increasing worldwide. Proteinuria is a clinical defining feature of FSGS which correlates with the severity of podocyte injury in patients with nephrotic-range protein excretion. Metabolite biomarkers corresponding with the level of proteinuria could be considered as non-invasive complementary prognostic factors to proteinuria. The urine samples of 15 patients (n = 6 women and n = 9 men) with biopsy-proven FSGS were collected and subjected to nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis for metabolite profiling. Multivariate statistical analyses, including principal component analysis and orthogonal projection to latent structure discriminant analysis, were applied to construct a predictive model based on patients with proteinuria >3000 mg/day and <3000 mg/day. In addition, random forest was performed to predict differential metabolites, and pathway analysis was performed to find the defective pathways responsible for proteinuria. Ten metabolites, significant in both statistical methods (orthogonal projection to latent structure discriminant analysis and random forest), were considered as prognostic biomarkers for FSGS: citrulline, dimethylamine, proline, acetoacetate, alpha-ketoisovaleric acid, valine, isobutyrate, D-Palmitylcarnitine, histidine, and N-methylnicotinamide. Pathway analysis revealed impairment of the branched-chain amino acid degradation pathways in patients with massive proteinuria. This study shows that metabolomics can reveal the molecular changes corresponding with disease progression in patients with FSGS and provide a new insight for pathogenic pathways. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Keywords: 1H NMR-based metabolomics; focal segmental glomerulosclerosis; metabolite biomarker; random forest.