Previous research on proteins that inhibit kidney stone formation has identified a relatively small number of well-characterized inhibitors. Identification of additional stone inhibitors would increase understanding of the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of nephrolithiasis. We have combined conventional biochemical methods with recent advances in mass spectrometry (MS) to identify a novel calcium oxalate (CaOx) crystal growth inhibitor in normal human urine. Anionic proteins were isolated by DEAE adsorption and separated by HiLoad 16/60 Superdex 75 gel filtration. A fraction with potent inhibitory activity against CaOx crystal growth was isolated and purified by anion exchange chromatography. The protein in 2 subfractions that retained inhibitory activity was identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization–time-of-flight MS and electrospray ionization–quadrupole–time-of-flight tandem MS as human trefoil factor 1 (TFF1). Western blot analysis confirmed the mass spectrometric protein identification. Functional studies of urinary TFF1 demonstrated that its inhibitory potency was similar to that of nephrocalcin. The inhibitory activity of urinary TFF1 was dose dependent and was inhibited by TFF1 antisera. Anti–C-terminal antibody was particularly effective, consistent with our proposed model in which the 4 C-terminal glutamic residues of TFF1 interact with calcium ions to prevent CaOx crystal growth. Concentrations and relative amounts of TFF1 in the urine of patients with idiopathic CaOx kidney stone were significantly less (2.5-fold for the concentrations and 5- to 22-fold for the relative amounts) than those found in controls. These data indicate that TFF1 is a novel potent CaOx crystal growth inhibitor with a potential pathophysiological role in nephrolithiasis.
Somchai Chutipongtanate, Yasushi Nakagawa, Suchai Sritippayawan, Jeeraporn Pittayamateekul, Paisal Parichatikanond, Bruce R. Westley, Felicity E.B. May, Prida Malasit, Visith Thongboonkerd
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were accepted. No appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.