Performance of soluble Klotho assays in clinical samples of kidney disease

Javier A. Neyra, Orson W. Moe, Johanne Pastor, Fabiola Gianella, Sachdev S. Sidhu, Mark J. Sarnak, Joachim H. Ix, David A. Drew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: Soluble Klotho has multiple systemic salutary effects. In animals, both acute and chronic kidney disease models display systemic Klotho deficiency. As such, there is considerable interest in investigating soluble Klotho as a biomarker in patients with different types and severity of kidney diseases. Unfortunately, there remains uncertainty regarding the best method to measure soluble Klotho in human serum samples. Methods: Using human serum samples obtained from several clinical cohorts with a wide range of kidney function, we measured soluble Klotho using a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) as well as with an immunoprecipitation-immunoblot (IP-IB) assay utilizing a synthetic antibody with high affinity and specificity for Klotho. Recovery of spiking with a known amount of exogenous Klotho was tested. A subset of samples was analyzed with and without the addition of a protease inhibitor cocktail at the time of collection or after the first freeze-thaw cycle to determine if these maneuvers influenced performance. Results: The IP-IB assay was superior to the ELISA at recovery of exogenous Klotho (81-115% versus 60-81%) across the spectrum of kidney function. Klotho measurements by IP-IB were highly correlated with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) (R = 0.80, P < 0.001) in comparison with the commercial ELISA, which exhibited minimal correlation with eGFR (R = 0.18, P = 0.12). Use of a protease inhibitor cocktail neither improved nor impaired performance of the IP-IB assay; however, subsequent freeze-thaw cycle resulted in a significant reduction in Klotho recovery and dissipated the correlation between Klotho levels and eGFR. With the ELISA, the use of protease inhibitor cocktail resulted in an increase in intrasubject variability. Conclusions: The IP-IB assay is preferable to the commercial ELISA to measure soluble Klotho concentrations in never-thawed serum samples of humans with varying severity of kidney disease. However, due to the labor-intensive nature of the IP-IB assay, further research is needed to secure an assay suitable for high-throughput work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-244
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Kidney Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 13 2019


  • Klotho
  • assays
  • chronic kidney disease
  • measurements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation


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