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Plasma proteomics of diabetic kidney disease among Asians with younger-onset type 2 diabetes.

CONTEXT: Patients with younger onset of type 2 diabetes (YT2D) have increased risk for kidney failure compared to those with late onset. However, the mechanism of diabetic kidney disease (DKD) progression in this high-risk group is poorly understood.

OBJECTIVES: To identify novel biomarkers and potential causal proteins associated with DKD progression in patients with YT2D.

DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: Among YT2D (T2D onset age ≤ 40 years), 144 DKD progressors (cases) were matched for T2D onset age, sex, and ethnicity with 292 non-progressors (controls) and divided into discovery and validation sets. DKD progression was defined as decline of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) of 3ml/min/1.73m2 or greater or 40% decline in eGFR from baseline. 1472 plasma proteins were measured through a multiplex immunoassay that uses a proximity extension assay technology. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify proteins associated with DKD progression. Mendelian randomization (MR) was used to evaluate causal relationship between plasma proteins and DKD progression.

RESULTS: 42 plasma proteins were associated with DKD progression, independent of traditional cardio-renal risk factors, baseline eGFR and urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (uACR). The proteins identified were related to inflammatory and remodelling biological processes. Our findings suggested angiogenin as one of the top signals (odds ratio =5.29, 95% CI 2.39-11.73, P = 4.03 × 10-5). Furthermore, genetically determined plasma angiogenin level was associated with increased odds of DKD progression.

CONCLUSION: Large-scale proteomic analysis identified novel proteomic biomarkers for DKD progression in YT2D. Genetic evidence suggest a causal role of plasma angiogenin in DKD progression.

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