The last decade has seen a surge in publications describing novel biomarkers for early detection of diabetic nephropathy (DN), but as yet none have outperformed albuminuria in well-designed prospective studies. This is partially attributable to our incomplete understanding of the many complex interrelated mechanisms underlying DN development, a heterogeneous process unlikely to be captured by a single biomarker. Proteomics offers the advantage of simultaneously analysing the entire protein content of a biological sample, and the technique has gained attention as a potential tool for a more accurate diagnosis of disease at an earlier stage as well as a means by which to unravel the pathogenesis of complex diseases such as DN using an untargeted approach. This review will discuss the potential of proteomics as both a clinical and research tool, evaluating exploratory work in animal models as well as diagnostic potential in human subjects.
Keywords: Biomarkers; Diabetes; Nephropathy; Proteomics; Translational.