Inhibitory effect of bikunin on calcium oxalate crystallization in vitro and urinary bikunin decrease in renal stone formers.Urol Res. 1999; 27(1):69-75.UR
Two proteins of 17 and 24 kDa, respectively, which were immunologically related to bikunin, were purified from urine of healthy men, using in the last step a trypsin CNBr-sepharose affinity column. These proteins strongly inhibited calcium oxalate (CaOx) crystallization in two in vitro models. In the first model, the presence of 8 microg/ml protein in a medium containing 0.76 mM CaCl2 (with 45Ca) and 0.76 mM ammonium oxalate inhibited the crystallization process by 80%, as estimated by supernatant radioactivity after 60 min of incubation. A similar inhibition was observed in the second turbidimetric model, where the CaOx crystallization kinetics were followed for 10 min at 620 nm in a medium containing 4 mM CaCl2 and 0.5 mM Na2Ox. These proteins were used as standard protein for the development of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in urine. Mean (+/-SEM) urinary bikunin concentration in 18 healthy subjects was 5.01 +/- 0.91 microg/ml. This was a concentration range of strong inhibitory activity in vitro. Bikunin values were nearly 50% lower (2.54 +/- 0.42 microg/ml, P=0.007) in 31 CaOx renal stone formers (having weddelite crystals in their first morning urine) than in the healthy volunteers. A correlation was found between urinary bikunin and alpha-1 microglobulin concentrations in the control group (y=0.73x + 1.09, r2=0.8) while no such correlation existed in the lithiasis group. In conclusion, bikunin exerts a strong inhibitory action of CaOx crystallization in vitro. Its involvement in urinary CaOx crystallization of stone formers is highly probable, based on the significant decrease in its urinary concentration in the majority of stone formers studied.