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Proteomic Analysis of Proteins Selectively Associated with Hydroxyapatite, Brushite, and Uric Acid Crystals Precipitated from Human Urine

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journal contribution
posted on 01.10.2010, 00:00 by Lauren A. Thurgood, Rosemary L. Ryall
The aim of this study was to compare the intracrystalline protein profiles of hydroxyapatite (HA), brushite (BR), and uric acid (UA) crystals precipitated from the same urine samples. HA, BR, and UA crystals were precipitated on two different occasions from the same pooled healthy urine. Crystals were washed to remove surface-bound proteins, and their composition was confirmed using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) coupled with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDAX). SDS-PAGE was used for visual comparison of the protein content of the demineralised crystal extracts, which were analyzed using liquid chromatography−tandem mass spectrometry (LC−MS/MS). HA comprised nanosized particles interspersed with organic material, which was absent from the BR and UA crystals. The number and type of individual proteins differed between the 3 minerals: 45 proteins were detected in the HA crystal extracts and 77 in the BR crystals, including a number of keratins, which were regarded as methodological contaminants. After excluding the keratins, 21 proteins were common to both HA and BR crystals. Seven nonkeratin proteins were identified in the UA extracts. Several proteins consistently detected in the HA and BR crystal extracts have been previously implicated in kidney stone disease, including osteopontin, prothrombin, protein S100A9 (calgranulin B), inter-α-inhibitor, α1-microglobulin bikunin (AMBP), heparan sulfate proteoglycan, and Tamm-Horsfall glycoprotein, all of which are strong calcium binders. We concluded that the association of proteins with HA, BR, and UA crystals formed in healthy urine is selective and that only a few of the numerous proteins present in healthy urine are likely to play any significant role in preventing stone pathogenesis.