Biomarker discovery in human urine has become an evolving and potentially valuable topic in relation to renal function and diseases of the urinary tract. In order to deliver on the promises and to facilitate the development of validated biomarkers or biomarker panels, protein and peptide profiling techniques need high sample throughput, speed of analysis, and reproducibility of results. Here, we outline the performance characteristics of the liquid chromatography/MALDI-TOF-MS based differential peptide display (DPD¹) approach for separating, detecting, abundance profiling and identification of native peptides derived from human urine. The typical complexity of peptides in human urine (resolution of the technique with respect to detectable number of peptides), the reproducibility (coefficient of variation for abundance profiles of all peptides detected in biological samples) and dynamic range of the technique as well as the lower limit of detection were characterized. A substantial number of peptides present in normal human urine were identified and compared to findings in four published proteome studies. In an explorative approach, pathological urines from patients suffering from post-renal-filtration diseases were qualitatively compared to normal urine. In conclusion, the peptidomics technology as shown here has a great potential for high throughput and high resolution urine peptide profiling analyses. It is a promising tool to study not only renal physiology and pathophysiology and to determine new biomarkers of renal diseases; it also has the potential to study remotely localized or systemic aberrations within human biology.
Keywords: Clinical proteomics, peptidomics, urine, biomarker, mass spectrometry, high-throughput
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