Background: Despite significant improvements in life expectancy of kidney transplant patients due to advances in surgery and immunosuppression, Chronic Allograft Nephropathy (CAN) remains a daunting problem. A complex network of cellular mechanisms in both graft and peripheral immune compartments complicates the non-invasive diagnosis of CAN, which still requires biopsy histology. This is compounded by non-immunological factors contributing to graft injury. There is a pressing need to identify and validate minimally invasive biomarkers for CAN to serve as early predictors of graft loss and as metrics for managing long-term immunosuppression. Methods: We used DNA microarrays, tandem mass spectroscopy proteomics and bioinformatics to identify genomic and proteomic markers of mild and moderate/severe CAN in peripheral blood of two distinct cohorts (n = 77 total) of kidney transplant patients with biopsy-documented histology. Findings: Gene expression profiles reveal over 2400 genes for mild CAN, and over 700 for moderate/severe CAN. A consensus analysis reveals 393 (mild) and 63 (moderate/severe) final candidates as CAN markers with predictive accuracy of 80% (mild) and 92% (moderate/severe). Proteomic profiles show over 500 candidates each, for both stages of CAN including 302 proteins unique to mild and 509 unique to moderate/severe CAN. Conclusions: This study identifies several unique signatures of transcript and protein biomarkers with high predictive accuracies for mild and moderate/severe CAN, the most common cause of late allograft failure. These biomarkers are the necessary first step to a proteogenomic classification of CAN based on peripheral blood profiling and will be the targets of a prospective clinical validation study.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)