Metabolomics Profiling of Cystic Renal Disease towards Biomarker Discovery

Biology (Basel). 2021 Aug 13;10(8):770. doi: 10.3390/biology10080770.


Cystic renal disease (CRD) comprises a heterogeneous group of genetic and acquired disorders. The cystic lesions are detected through imaging, either incidentally or after symptoms develop, due to an underlying disease process. In this study, we aim to study the metabolomic profiles of CRD patients for potential disease-specific biomarkers using unlabeled and labeled metabolomics using low and high-resolution mass spectrometry (MS), respectively. Dried-blood spot (DBS) and serum samples, collected from CRD patients and healthy controls, were analyzed using the unlabeled and labeled method. The metabolomics profiles for both sets of samples and groups were collected, and their data were processed using the lab's standard protocol. The univariate analysis showed (FDR p < 0.05 and fold change 2) was significant to show a group of potential biomarkers for CRD discovery, including uridine diphosphate, cystine-5-diphosphate, and morpholine. Several pathways were involved in CRD patients based on the metabolic profile, including aminoacyl-tRNA biosynthesis, purine and pyrimidine, glutathione, TCA cycle, and some amino acid metabolism (alanine, aspartate and glutamate, arginine and tryptophan), which have the most impact. In conclusion, early CRD detection and treatment is possible using a metabolomics approach that targets alanine, aspartate, and glutamate pathway metabolites.

Keywords: cystic renal disease; dried blood spot; mass spectrometry; metabolomics.