During ageing, the glomerular and tubular basement membranes (BM) of the kidney undergo a progressive decline in function that is underpinned by histological changes, including glomerulosclerosis and tubular interstitial fibrosis and atrophy. This BM-specific ageing is thought to result from damage accumulation to long-lived extracellular matrix (ECM) protein structures. Determining which BM proteins are susceptible to these structure-associated changes, and the possible mechanisms and downstream consequences, is critical to understand age-related kidney degeneration and to identify markers for therapeutic intervention. Peptide location fingerprinting (PLF) is an emerging proteomic mass spectrometry analysis technique capable of identifying ECM proteins with structure-associated differences that may occur by damage modifications in ageing. Here, we apply PLF as a bioinformatic screening tool to identify BM proteins with structure-associated differences between young and aged human glomerular and tubulointerstitial compartments. Several functional regions within key BM components displayed alterations in tryptic peptide yield, reflecting potential age-dependent shifts in molecular (e.g. laminin-binding regions in agrin) and cellular (e.g. integrin-binding regions in laminins 521 and 511) interactions, oxidation (e.g. collagen IV) and the fragmentation and release of matrikines (e.g. canstatin and endostatin from collagens IV and XVIII). Furthermore, we found that periostin and the collagen IV α2 chain exhibited structure-associated differences in ageing that were conserved between human kidney and previously analysed mouse lung, revealing BM components that harbour shared susceptibilities across species and organs.
- Peptide location fingerprinting
- Basement membrane
- Mass spectrometry