Urine Phenotyping Core

The Urine Phenotyping Core serves four key functions in support of the O'Brien Urology Research Center:

  • Quantification of urinary components of the supersaturation profile
  • Quantification of urinary inhibitor activity
  • Quantification of known urinary macromolecular inhibitors
  • Application of differential proteomics to urine samples of stone forming and control populations

Given the explosion of proteomic techniques and their ready applications to urine, the Urine Phenotyping Core is ideally situated to provide our center researchers with quick access to a modern proteomics tool kit, taking advantage of resources and expertise of the Proteomics Core. This includes access to the latest mass spectrometer technology and bioinformatics resources to analyze and interpret the large data sets typically produced in modern proteomics experiments.

Much effort has been directed toward understanding metabolic abnormalities that can increase urinary supersaturation, which is a key factor that initiates and favors kidney stone growth. However, crystal-crystal and crystal-cell interactions also seem to be critical events during the early stages of stone formation.

Increased understanding of the factors that modulate the interface of urinary proteins and crystals, and hence their subsequent interaction with other crystals or cells, is a prerequisite for identifying new therapeutic targets for nephrolithiasis — and ultimately for the development of new strategies to help prevent and treat renal stone disease.

The director of the Urine Phenotyping Core is Mayo Clinic nephrologist John C. Lieske, M.D.