Renal tract malformations (RTMs) are congenital anomalies of the kidneys and urinary tract, which are the major cause of end-stage renal disease in children. Using immunoassay-based approaches (ELISA, western blot), individual urinary proteins including transforming growth factor β, tumor necrosis factor and monocyte attractant proteins 1 were found to be associated to RTMs. However, only mass spectrometry (MS) based methods leading to the identification of panels of protein-based markers composed of fragments of the extracellular matrix allowed the prediction of progression of RTMs and its complications. Areas covered: In this review, we summarized relevant studies identified in "Pubmed" using the keywords "urinary biomarkers" and "proteomics" and "renal tract malformations" or "hydronephrosis" or "ureteropelvic junction obstruction" or "posterior urethral valves" or "vesicoureteral reflux". These publications represent studies on potential protein-based biomarkers, either individually or combined in panels, of RTMs in human and animal models. Expert commentary: Successful use in the clinic of these protein-based biomarkers will need to involve larger scale studies to reach sufficient power. Improved performance will potentially come from combining immunoassay- and MS-based markers.
Keywords: Proteomics; biomarkers; children; renal tract malformation; urine.