Associations of urinary polymeric immunoglobulin receptor peptides in the context of cardio-renal syndrome

Sci Rep. 2020 May 19;10(1):8291. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-65154-2.


The polymeric immunoglobulin receptor (pIgR) transports immunoglobulins from the basolateral to the apical surface of epithelial cells. PIgR was recently shown to be associated with kidney dysfunction. The immune defense is initiated at the apical surface of epithelial cells where the N-terminal domain of pIgR, termed secretory component (SC), is proteolytically cleaved and released either unbound (free SC) or bound to immunoglobulins. The aim of our study was to evaluate the association of pIgR peptides with the cardio-renal syndrome in a large cohort and to obtain information on how the SC is released. We investigated urinary peptides of 2964 individuals available in the Human Urine Proteome Database generated using capillary electrophoresis coupled to mass spectrometry. The mean amplitude of 23 different pIgR peptides correlated negatively with the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR, rho = -0.309, p < 0.0001). Furthermore, pIgR peptides were significantly increased in cardiovascular disease (coronary artery disease and heart failure) after adjustment for eGFR. We further predicted potential proteases involved in urinary peptide generation using the Proteasix algorithm. Peptide cleavage site analysis suggested that several, and not one, proteases are involved in the generation of the SC. In this large cohort, we could demonstrate that pIgR is associated with the cardio-renal syndrome and provided a more detailed insight on how pIgR can be potentially cleaved to release the SC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardio-Renal Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Cardio-Renal Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Cardio-Renal Syndrome / urine
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptides / urine*
  • Proteomics
  • Receptors, Polymeric Immunoglobulin / chemistry*
  • Secretory Component / urine


  • Immunoglobulins
  • Peptides
  • Receptors, Polymeric Immunoglobulin
  • Secretory Component