Quantitative detection of promoter hypermethylation as a biomarker of acute kidney injury during transplantation.


Aberrant promoter hypermethylation, also known as epigenetics, is thought to be a promising biomarker approach to diagnose malignancies. Kidney repair after injury is a recapitulation of normal morphogenesis, with similarities to malignant transformation. We hypothesized that changes in urine epigenetics could be a biomarker approach during early kidney transplant injury and repair. We examined urine DNA for aberrant methylation of two gene promoters (DAPK and CALCA) by quantitative methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction from 13 deceased and 10 living donor kidney transplant recipients on postoperative day 2 and 65 healthy controls. Results were compared with clinical outcomes and to results of the kidney biopsy. Transplant recipients were significantly more likely to have aberrant hypermethylation of the CALCA gene promoter in urine than healthy controls (100% vs 31%; P < .0001). There was increased CALCA hypermethylation in the urine of deceased versus living donor transplants (21.60 +/- 12.5 vs 12.19 +/- 4.7; P = .04). Furthermore, there was a trend toward increased aberrant hypermethylation of urine CALCA in patients with biopsy-proven acute tubular necrosis versus acute rejection and slow or prompt graft function (mean: 20.40 +/- 6.9, 13.87 +/- 6.49, 17.17 +/- 13.4; P = .67). However, there was no difference of CALCA hypermethylation in urine of patients with delayed graft function versus those with slow or prompt graft function (16.9 +/- 6.2 vs 18.5 +/- 13.7, respectively; P = .5). There was no aberrant hypermethylation of DAPK in the urine of transplant patients. Urine epigenetics is a promising biomarker approach for acute ischemic injury in transplantation that merits future study.

  • Hoque MO
  • Kraus E
  • Mehta TK
  • Melancon K
  • Montgomery R
  • Rabb H
  • Rahman MH
  • Sidransky D
  • Ugarte R
PubMed ID
Appears In
Transplant Proc, 2006, 38 (10)