Proteomic Analysis of Saliva from Patients with Oral Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (2014)


2014, April 2014, Clinical Research Division


Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) is an immune-mediated disorder and is the major long-term complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). The oral mucosa including the salivary glands is affected in the majority of cGVHD patients; however, at present there is only a limited understanding of disease pathobiology. In this study, we performed a quantitative proteomic analysis of saliva pooled from oral cGVHD(+) and oral cGVHD(-) patients using iTRAQ (isobaric Tags for Relative and Absolute Quantification) labeling, followed by tandem mass spectrometry. Among 249 salivary proteins identified by tandem mass spectrometry, 82 proteins exhibited altered expression in oral cGVHD patients compared to allo-HSCT patients without oral cGVHD. Many of the identified proteins function in innate or acquired immunity, or are associated with tissue maintenance functions such as proteolysis or the cytoskeleton. Using ELISA immunoassays, we further confirmed that two of these proteins, IL-1 receptor antagonist and Cystatin B, showed decreased expression in patients with active oral cGVHD (P < 0.003). Receiver Operator Characteristic analysis revealed that these two markers were able to distinguish oral cGVHD with a sensitivity of 85% and specificity of 60%, and showed slightly better discrimination in newly diagnosed patients studied within 12 months of allo-HSCT transplantation (sensitivity, 92%; specificity 73%). In addition to identifying novel potential salivary cGVHD biomarkers, our study demonstrates that there is coordinated regulation of protein families involved in inflammation, anti-microbial defense and tissue protection in oral cGVHD that may also reflect changes in salivary gland function and damage to the oral mucosa.