Elafin is a biomarker of graft-versus-host disease of the skin

Sophie Paczesny, Thomas M. Braun, John E. Levine, Jason Hogan, Jeffrey Crawford, Bryan Coffing, Stephen Olsen, Sung W. Choi, Hong Wang, Vitor Faca, Sharon Pitteri, Qing Zhang, Alice Chin, Carrie Kitko, Shin Mineishi, Gregory Yanik, Edward Peres, David Hanauer, Ying Wang, Pavan ReddySamir Hanash, James L.M. Ferrara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

198 Scopus citations


Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), the major complication of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation, affects the skin, liver, and gastrointestinal tract. There are no plasma biomarkers specific for any acute GVHD target organ. We used a large-scale quantitative proteomic discovery procedure to identify biomarker candidates of skin GVHD and validated the lead candidate, elafin, with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in samples from 492 patients. Elafin was overexpressed in GVHD skin biopsies. Plasma concentrations of elafin were significantly higher at the onset of skin GVHD, correlated with the eventual maximum grade of GVHD, and were associated with a greater risk of death relative to other known risk factors (hazard ratio, 1.78). We conclude that elafin has significant diagnostic and prognostic value as a biomarker of skin GVHD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13ra2
JournalScience Translational Medicine
Issue number13
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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