A study of crystal matrix extract and urinary prothrombin fragment 1 from a stone-prone and stone-free population.

Journal Article


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title

Urological Research

Journal ISSN
Volume Title



University of Cape Town

South African blacks are immune to urinary calculi whereas whites have an incidence rate similar to that reported in Western societies. Urinary prothrombin fragment 1 (UPTF1) and the crystal matrix extract (CME) from which it is derived have been shown to be potent inhibitors of crystal growth and aggregation in undiluted human urine. The objective of the present study was to isolate CME and UPTF1 from the urines of black and white subjects in order to assess whether either might contribute to the black population's relative stone immunity. CME was isolated from freshly precipitated calcium oxalate (CaOx) crystals and a crystallization study was conducted in synthetic urine. Coulter Counter, 14C-oxalate deposition, and scanning electron microscopy data demonstrated that the extracts from both race groups strongly inhibited CaOx nucleation. The extract derived from the black subjects inhibited nucleation to a greater extent than that from the whites. A phase conversion from COM to COD in the presence of the extracts, in support of the inhibitory effect of CME, was also observed. Purified UPTF1 isolated from both groups' CME was subjected to rigorous biochemical characterization involving matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry, protein sequencing by Edman degradation, and amino acid analyses. No differences in molecular weight or amino acid sequence and composition were identified. It is suggested that the more potent inhibitory activity of the extract derived from the black subjects might be related to this group's relative stone immunity.