Diabetic nephropathy often progresses to end-stage kidney disease and, ultimately, to renal replacement therapy. Hyperglycemia per se is expected to have a direct impact on the biosynthesis of N- and O-linked glycoproteins. This study aims to establish the link between protein glycosylation and progression of experimental diabetic kidney disease using orthogonal methods. Kidneys of streptozotocin-diabetic and control rats were harvested at three different time points post streptozotocin injection. A panel of 12 plant lectins was used in the screening of lectin blots. The lectins UEAI, PHA-E, GSI, PNA, and RCA identified remarkable disease-associated differences in glycoprotein expression. Lectin affinity chromatography followed by mass spectrometric analyses led to the identification of several glycoproteins involved in salt-handling, angiogenesis, and extracellular matrix degradation. Our data confirm a substantial link between glycosylation signature and diabetes progression. Furthermore, as suggested by our findings on dipeptidyl peptidase-IV, altered protein glycosylation may reflect changes in biochemical properties such as enzymatic activity. Thus, our study demonstrates the unexplored potential of protein glycosylation analysis in the discovery of molecules linked to diabetic kidney disease.Kidney International advance online publication, 14 January 2015; doi:10.1038/ki.2014.387.
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