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Study identifies new risk factor for heart disease among kidney dialysis patients
Date:3/6/2013

would normally be metabolized, they become attracted to atherosclerotic plaques which can lead to the development of atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries."

Knowing that there is growing evidence that urea and protein carbamylation are important contributors to the risk of heart disease and death in patients with kidney failure, Berg and his collaborators hypothesized that measurements of carbamylated albumin the most abundant protein in the blood --could provide an index of patients' blood urea concentrations and could be used in a blood test to provide clinicians with information on how well dialysis treatments are working to remove body waste products from patients with kidney failure.

As predicted, in two independent clinical experiments, the investigators demonstrated that increased carbamylated albumin is strongly associated with an elevated risk of premature death in patients on dialysis. They additionally found that increased carbamylated albumin in dialysis patients was linked with low blood concentrations of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.

"This suggests that amino acid deficiencies may contribute to increased protein carbamylation in dialysis patients," says Berg. "In separate experiments in both cells and in mice, we found that amino acids act as carbamylation scavengers, competitively inhibiting protein carbamylation."

The researchers were able to generate their findings through a variety of complex studies, including protein screening experiments to search for sites of carbamylation on albumin and observational studies in which they first measured albumin carbamylation in blood samples from patients with kidney disease and then followed the patients to determine whether the extent of carbamylation correlated with risk of premature death. The investigators also measured blood concentrations of amino acids in 187 patients to determine if amino acid deficiencies were linked with increased prote
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Contact: Bonnie Prescott
bprescot@bidmc.harvard.edu
617-667-7306
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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