Elevated Urine Heparanase Levels Are Associated with Proteinuria and Decreased Renal Allograft Function

Itay Shafat, Amir Agbaria, Mona Boaz, Doron Schwartz, Ronny Baruch, Richard Nakash, Neta Ilan, Israel Vlodavsky, Talia Weinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Heparanase is an endo-β-glucuronidase that cleaves heparan sulfate side chains, leading to structural modifications that loosen the extracellular matrix barrier and associated with tumor metastasis, inflammation and angiogenesis. In addition, the highly sulfated heparan sulfate proteoglycans are important constituents of the glomerular basement membrane and its permselective properties. Recent studies suggest a role for heparanase in several experimental and human glomerular diseases associated with proteinuria such as diabetes, minimal change disease, and membranous nephropathy. Here, we quantified blood and urine heparanase levels in renal transplant recipients and patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), and assessed whether alterations in heparanase levels correlate with proteinuria and renal function. We report that in transplanted patients, urinary heparanase was markedly elevated, inversely associated with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), suggesting a relationship between heparanase and graft function. In CKD patients, urinary heparanase was markedly elevated and associated with proteinuria, but not with eGFR. In addition, urinary heparanase correlated significantly with plasma heparanase in transplanted patients. Such a systemic spread of heparanase may lead to damage of cells and tissues alongside the kidney.The newly described association between heparanase, proteinuria and decreased renal function is expected to pave the way for new therapeutic options aimed at attenuating chronic renal allograft nephropathy, leading to improved graft survival and patient outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere44076
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
StatePublished - 13 Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Elevated Urine Heparanase Levels Are Associated with Proteinuria and Decreased Renal Allograft Function'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this