Protein glycosylation in urine as a biomarker of diseases

Mingming Xu, Arthur Yang, Jun Xia, Junhong Jiang, Chun Feng Liu, Zhenyu Ye, Junfeng Ma*, Shuang Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Human body fluids have become an indispensable resource for clinical research, diagnosis and prognosis. Urine is widely used to discover disease-specific glycoprotein biomarkers because of its recurrently non-invasive collection and disease-indicating properties. While urine is an unstable fluid in that its composition changes with ingested nutrients and further as it is excreted through micturition, urinary proteins are more stable and their abnormal glycosylation is associated with diseases. It is known that aberrant glycosylation can define tumor malignancy and indicate disease initiation and progression. However, a thorough and translational survey of urinary glycosylation in diseases has not been performed. In this article, we evaluate the clinical applications of urine, introduce methods for urine glycosylation analysis, and discuss urine glycoprotein biomarkers. We emphasize the importance of mining urinary glycoproteins and searching for disease-specific glycosylation in various diseases (including cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, and viral infections). With advances in mass spectrometry-based glycomics/glycoproteomics/glycopeptidomics, characterization of disease-specific glycosylation will optimistically lead to the discovery of disease-related urinary biomarkers with better sensitivity and specificity in the near future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-107
Number of pages13
JournalTranslational Research
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes


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