The Impact of the Glomerular Filtration Rate on the Human Plasma Proteome

Proteomics Clin Appl. 2018 May;12(3):e1700067. doi: 10.1002/prca.201700067. Epub 2018 Jan 31.


Purpose: The application of proteomics in chronic kidney disease (CKD) can potentially uncover biomarkers and pathways that are predictive of disease.

Experimental design: Within this context, this study examines the relationship between the human plasma proteome and glomerular filtration rate (GFR) as measured by iohexol clearance in a cohort from Sweden (n = 389; GFR range: 8-100 mL min-1 /1.73 m2 ). A total of 2893 proteins are quantified using a modified aptamer assay.

Results: A large proportion of the proteome is associated with GFR, reinforcing the concept that CKD affects multiple physiological systems (individual protein-GFR correlations listed here). Of these, cystatin C shows the most significant correlation with GFR (rho = -0.85, p = 1.2 × 10-97 ), establishing strong validation for the use of this biomarker in CKD diagnostics. Among the other highly significant protein markers are insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 6, neuroblastoma suppressor of tumorigenicity 1, follistatin-related protein 3, trefoil factor 3, and beta-2 microglobulin. These proteins may indicate an imbalance in homeostasis across a variety of cellular processes, which may be underlying renal dysfunction.

Conclusions and clinical relevance: Overall, this study represents the most extensive characterization of the plasma proteome and its relation to GFR to date, and suggests the diagnostic and prognostic value of proteomics for CKD across all stages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Proteins / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proteomics*
  • Sex Characteristics


  • Blood Proteins