Recently a group of researchers at San Diego School of Medicine, University of California, has developed bio informatic framework and recognized that major proteins considerably changed at the level of gene-expression in tissue sent for biopsy from patients with Diabetic Nephropathy or diabetic kidney disease, an outcome that may disclose new therapeutic objectives.

The group of researchers, headed by Kumar Sharma, MD, professor of medicine, UC San Diego School of Medicine, has published paper in JCI Insights lately, revealing that the protein MDM2 was constantly down-regulated and had a major role in the progression of diabetic kidney disease. The new bioinformatics framework, “MetBridge Generator” was used by the researchers to identify the pertinent enzymes and connect proteins that link the human metabolome database to the physiopathology of Diabetic Nephropathy at a molecular level.

According to Kumar Sharma, director of the Center for Renal Translational Medicine and the Institute for Metabolomic Medicine, UC San Diego School of Medicine, and also the senior author of the study, MetBridge Generator supports effective and dedicated investigation of urine metabolomics data from patients having diabetic kidney disease, offering scientists a chance to formulate new hypotheses grounded on the probable cellular or physiological effects of major proteins. He also mentioned that the framework may possibly also be used to interpret several other metabolomic signatures from different types of diseases. For instance, MDM2 is also implicated in controlling p53, a tumour protein, which is a mark for treating cancer.

In an earlier research, the authors recognized 13 metabolites that were seen to be changed in patients with diabetic nephropathy. Merging this evidence and metabolic pathways data available publicly, the scientists tested a hypothesis that certain proteins serve as links forming less explicit pathways. Then, the framework formed a map depicting protein-protein interaction (PPI) and metabolic networks. This permitted the research team to explore and discover appropriate links with the highest number of interactions with enzymes that control those 13-metabolite signatures of diabetic nephropathy.

Stages of  Diabetic Nephropathy

The authors had previously identified the interactions of protein-RNA as probable causes for other main pathways contributing to disease progress that could be combined over-and-above to the network of MetBridge Generator. This progression will carry on adding to probable therapeutic objectives for disease treatment.

Diagnostic and treatment of Diabetic Nephropathy


This study was supported, in part, by National Resource for Network Biology (P41 GM103504), the National Institutes of Health (DP3 DK094352), University of Michigan O’Brien Kidney Translational Core Center (P30DK081943),San Diego Center for Systems Biology (P50 GM085764), Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (TH 1836/1-2, AN372/11-2), Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and a VA Merit Award (5101BX000277), and Intramural Research Program under the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.