Research finds proteins that may help cure renal disease in diabetes

Research finds proteins that may help cure renal disease in diabetes
New research from Harvard Medical School’s Joslin Diabetes Center showed that the elevated levels of three specific circulating proteins are associated with protection against kidney failure in diabetes. The study is published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
The researchers profiled levels of just over 1,000 proteins in the plasma samples and that all of them had diabetes and moderately impaired kidney function. They used two cohorts of individuals with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes who were followed for between 7 and 15 years. The team said that the main aim of the study was to identify proteins that were elevated in individuals with slow or minimal decline in kidney function over the follow-up period. Working through potential candidate proteins, they found three proteins that appeared to offer protection against progressive decline. These were fibroblast growth factor 20 (FGF20), angiopoietin-1 (ANGPT1) and tumour necrosis factor ligand superfamily member 12 (TNFSF12).
Dr Andrzej Królewski, Professor of Medicine at Joslin  Harvard Medical School (HMS) and senior author on the paper, said that the newly discovered proteins act as biomarkers for advancing kidney disease risk in diabetes as well as the basis for future therapies against progression to the most serious types of kidney disease.

The authors also looked at the current biological knowledge relating to individual proteins and kidney disease and identified several potential mechanisms that might explain their protective effects.

The study’s first author Zaipul Md Dom, a research fellow in the Krolewski laboratory, said: “The protective effects of these proteins seem to be independent, which suggests that there are multiple mechanisms involved. They may be causally related to the disease process or represent as-yet-unidentified pathways involved in progressive renal decline.”