Experimental Animals
Online ISSN : 1881-7122
Print ISSN : 1341-1357
ISSN-L : 0007-5124
Urinary protein analysis in mice lacking major urinary proteins
Osamu SuzukiMinako KouraKozue Uchio-YamadaMitsuho Sasaki
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2021 Volume 70 Issue 3 Pages 406-411


Mouse urine contains major urinary proteins (MUPs) that are not found in human urine. Therefore, even healthy mice exhibit proteinuria, unlike healthy humans, making it challenging to use mice as models for human diseases. It was also unknown whether dipsticks for urinalysis could measure protein concentrations precisely in urine containing MUPs. To resolve these problems, we produced MUP-knockout (Mup-KO) mice by removing the Mup gene cluster using Cas9 proteins and two guide RNAs and characterized the urinary proteins in these mice. We measured the urinary protein concentrations in Mup-KO and wild-type mice using a protein quantitation kit and dipsticks. We also examined the urinary protein composition using SDS-PAGE and two-dimensional electrophoresis (2DE). The urinary protein concentration was significantly lower (P<0.001) in Mup-KO mice (17.9 ± 1.8 mg/dl, mean ± SD, n=3) than in wild-type mice (73.7 ± 8.2 mg/dl, n=3). This difference was not reflected in the dipstick values, perhaps due to the low sensitivity to MUPs. This suggests that dipsticks have limited ability to measure changes in MUPs with precision. SDS-PAGE and 2DE confirmed that Mup-KO mice, like humans, had no MUPs in their urine, whereas wild-type mice had abundant MUPs in their urine. The absence of the masking effect of MUPs in 2DE would enable clear comparisons of urinary proteins, especially low-molecular-weight proteins. Thus, Mup-KO mice may provide a useful model for human urinalysis.

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