New biomarkers for active lupus nephritis discovered

Jan. 30, 2024
Antibodies and DNA used to find the biological markers of disease.

New biomarkers with improved diagnostic performance for early detection of lupus nephritis have been discovered in the University of Houston lab of Chandra Mohan.

As reported by Mohan, Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Endowed Professor of Biomedical Engineering, in the Journal of Autoimmunity, “These studies add at least six novel urine biomarkers of active renal lupus validated across two ethnically diverse patient cohorts.” 

By applying PEA proteomics (the study of protein interactions, function, composition and structures) to urine samples, Mohan and team identified several proteins that were significantly elevated in the urine of lupus patients with active renal disease.  

The study offered independent validation of several previously reported urine biomarkers for active renal lupus, including proteins such as ALCAM, CD163, MCP1, SELL, ICAM1, VCAM1, NGAL and TWEAK. The researchers also identified additional urine protein biomarkers not previously reported, including ICAM-2, FABP4, FASLG, IGFBP-2, SELE, and TNFSF13B/BAFF.  

Examining the renal expression of these molecules suggests that both immune cells and non-immune cells in the kidneys may be releasing these biomarker proteins into the urine.   

University of Houston release on Newswise