Due to its close connection with the renal system, urine is considered a valuable source of information in kidney disease research. Peptidomics methods focus on the discovery of endogenous peptides, given their wide range of biological functions and diagnostic and therapeutic potential. Representing a non-invasive and sensitive method, technological prospects of urinary peptidomics should be evaluated in the context of drug discovery and research. Areas covered: This review describes urinary peptidomics with focus on its application in drug research in the field of kidney diseases. The authors provide an overview of current achievements and potential future applications. Expert opinion: The urinary peptidome is a dynamically changing source of information, able to reflect sudden and long-term changes affecting the renal system. Studies utilizing urinary peptidomics techniques have demonstrated their value in patient stratification and detection of early pathological changes in kidney disease. Serving as a liquid biopsy, urinary peptides are an invaluable tool for drug response monitoring. Nevertheless, peptidomics is largely underexplored in drug research in general, as evidenced by the scarce number of scientific publications on this topic. Further progress will be driven by the successful validation of current discoveries and continued efforts to improve the translation of results into therapeutic applications.
Keywords: Biomarker; clinical proteomics; drug discovery; kidney disease; peptidomics; urine.