Corin is a cardiac protease that regulates BP (blood pressure) by activating natriuretic peptides. Recent animal studies identified corin expression in the kidney where it may regulate renal function. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that corin may be present in human urine and that urinary corin levels may be altered in patients with kidney disease. We obtained urine and kidney tissue samples from normal individuals and CKD (chronic kidney disease) patients. Using ELISA, we detected corin protein in human urine. In normal individuals, urinary corin levels did not correlate with that of plasma, indicating that urinary corin is probably of kidney origin. Compared with normal controls, CKD patients had markedly reduced urinary corin levels and this reduction correlated with disease severity. By immunostaining, human corin protein was identified on the epithelial cell surface in renal tubules. The renal corin mRNA and protein levels were significantly lower in CKD patients than non-CKD controls. The results indicate that renal tubular corin may be shed into urine and that urinary and renal corin levels were reduced in CKD patients. These data suggest that reduced corin levels in the kidney may reflect the underlying pathology in CKD.

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