Proteomic signatures in plasma during early acute renal allograft rejection

Gabriela V. Cohen Freue, Mayu Sasaki, Anna Meredith, Oliver P. Günther, Axel Bergman, Mandeep Takhar, Alice Mui, Robert F. Balshaw, Raymond T. Ng, Nina Opushneva, Zsuzsanna Hollander, Guiyun Li, Christoph H. Borchers, Janet Wilson-McManus, Bruce M. McManus, Paul A. Keown, W. Robert McMastera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Acute graft rejection is an important clinical problem in renal transplantation and an adverse predictor for long term graft survival. Plasma biomarkers may offer an important option for post-transplant monitoring and permit timely and effective therapeutic intervention to minimize graft damage. This case-control discovery study (n = 32) used isobaric tagging for relative and absolute protein quantification (iTRAQ) technology to quantitate plasma protein relative concentrations in precise cohorts of patients with and without biopsy-confirmed acute rejection (BCAR). Plasma samples were depleted of the 14 most abundant plasma proteins to enhance detection sensitivity. A total of 18 plasma proteins that encompassed processes related to inflammation, complement activation, blood coagulation, and wound repair exhibited significantly different relative concentrations between patient cohorts with and without BCAR (p value <0.05). Twelve proteins with a fold-change ≥1.15 were selected for diagnostic purposes: seven were increased (titin, lipopolysaccharidebinding protein, peptidase inhibitor 16, complement factor D, mannose-binding lectin, protein Z-dependent protease and β2-microglobulin) and five were decreased (kininogen-1, afamin, serine protease inhibitor, phosphatidylcholine- sterol acyltransferase, and sex hormone-binding globulin) in patients with BCAR. The first three principal components of these proteins showed clear separation of cohorts with and without BCAR. Performance improved with the inclusion of sequential proteins, reaching a primary asymptote after the first three (titin, kininogen-1, and lipopolysaccharide-binding protein). Longitudinal monitoring over the first 3 months post-transplant based on ratios of these three proteins showed clear discrimination between the two patient cohorts at time of rejection. The score then declined to baseline following treatment and resolution of the rejection episode and remained comparable between cases and controls throughout the period of quiescent follow-up. Results were validated using ELISA where possible, and initial cross-validation estimated a sensitivity of 80% and specificity of 90% for classification of BCAR based on a four-protein ELISA classifier. This study provides evidence that protein concentrations in plasma may provide a relevant measure for the occurrence of BCAR and offers a potential tool for immunologic monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1954-1967
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular and Cellular Proteomics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Proteomic signatures in plasma during early acute renal allograft rejection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this