We analyzed the urine samples of patients with type 2 diabetes at various stages of diabetic nephropathy by lectin microarray to identify a biomarker to predict the progression of diabetic nephropathy. Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes at various stages of nephropathy were enrolled and we performed lectin microarray analyses (n = 17) and measured urinary excretion of fetuin-A (n = 85). The increased signals of urine samples were observed in Siaα2-6Gal/GalNAc-binding lectins (SNA, SSA, TJA-I) during the progression of diabetic nephropathy. We next isolated sialylated glycoproteins by using SSA-lectin affinity chromatography and identified fetuin-A by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometer. Urinary excretion of fetuin-A significantly increased during the progression of albuminuria (A1, 0.40±0.43; A2, 0.60±0.53; A3 1.57±1.13 ng/gCr; p = 7.29×10-8) and of GFR stages (G1, 0.39±0.39; G2, 0.49±0.45; G3, 1.25±1.18; G4, 1.34±0.80 ng/gCr; p = 3.89×10-4). Multivariate logistic regression analysis was employed to assess fetuin-A as a risk for diabetic nephropathy with microalbuminuria or GFR<60 mL/min. Fetuin-A is demonstrated as a risk factor for both microalbuminuria and reduction of GFR in diabetic nephropathy with the odds ratio of 4.721 (1.881-11.844) and 3.739 (1.785-7.841), respectively. Collectively, the glycan profiling analysis is useful method to identify the urine biomarkers and fetuin-A is a candidate to predict the progression of diabetic nephropathy.
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