Research Papers:

Bcl-3 is a novel biomarker of renal fibrosis in chronic kidney disease

Ran Chen, Lunshan Wang, Sanhong Liu, Xi Chen, Yiming Hu, Hanshao Liu, Haohao Zhang, Yuhang Jiang, Qi Wang, Deji Ye, Lingling Li, Dandan Liu, Xiaorong Pan, Lixin Wei, Xuemei Li and Xiaoren Zhang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:97206-97216. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.21692

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Ran Chen1,*, Lunshan Wang2,*, Sanhong Liu3, Xi Chen1, Yiming Hu1, Hanshao Liu1, Haohao Zhang1, Yuhang Jiang1, Qi Wang1, Deji Ye1, Lingling Li1, Dandan Liu1, Xiaorong Pan4, Lixin Wei4, Xuemei Li5 and Xiaoren Zhang1

1Key Laboratory of Stem Cell Biology, Institute of Health Sciences, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200031, China

2Clinical Laboratory Department, The Chinese People’s Liberation Army 105th Hospital, Hefei 230001, China

3Shanghai Institute for Advanced Immunochemical Studies, ShanghaiTech University, Shanghai 201210, China

4Tumor Immunology and Gene Therapy Center, Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital, The Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China

5Department of Nephrology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100723, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Xiaoren Zhang, email: [email protected]

Xuemei Li, email: [email protected]

Keywords: Bcl-3, renal fibrosis, chronic kidney disease, unilateral ureteral obstruction, biomarker

Received: June 27, 2017    Accepted: August 31, 2017    Published: October 09, 2017


Progressive renal fibrosis in chronic kidney disease (CKD) greatly contributes to end-stage renal failure and is associated with high mortality. The identification of renal fibrosis biomarkers for the diagnosis and the monitoring of disease progression in CKD is urgently needed. Whole-transcriptomic analysis of renal tissues in a unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) mouse model revealed that the mRNA level of Bcl-3, an atypical member of the IκB family, was induced 6.3-fold 2 days after UUO. Compared with renal tissues in sham-operated mice, increases in Bcl-3 mRNA and protein in the renal tissues in the UUO model were accompanied with increases in other markers of renal fibrosis, including human epididymis protein 4 (HE4), a recently identified biomarker of renal fibrosis. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that both Bcl-3 and HE4 were located in the plasma of renal tubule cells. Serum protein levels of Bcl-3 and HE4 rose with the development of renal fibrosis in UUO mouse model. We found that the serum protein levels of both HE4 and Bcl-3 were elevated in CKD patients compared with healthy controls. Moreover, a significant positive correlation between Bcl-3 and HE4 (r = 0.939, p < 0.0001) was observed in CKD patients. These data suggest that Bcl-3 can serve as a novel valuable biomarker of renal fibrosis in CKD.

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