Discrepancy between recipient and donor rs4364254 heparanase single nucleotide polymorphism impacts graft-versus-host disease after allogeneic stem cell transplant

Elisabetta Metafuni, Sabrina Giammarco, Silvia Bellesi, Monica Rossi, Gessica Minnella, Maria Assunta Limongiello, Caterina Giovanna Valentini, Luciana Teofili, Simona Sica, Patrizia Chiusolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction: The heparanase (HPSE) gene is highly polymorphic, but only a minority of its single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been studied. Among these, rs4693608 and rs4364254 SNPs are closely associated with mRNA expression and HPSE protein levels in healthy subjects. Given the association between HPSE and inflammatory response, we aimed to evaluate whether HPSE rs4693608 and rs4364254 SNPs could have an impact on graft-versus-host disease after allogeneic stem cell transplants (HSCT). Methods: A total of 228 consecutive patients who underwent HSCT at our center between 2005 and 2018 were included. The rs4693608 SNP was identified by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) analysis, while the rs4364254 was detected by allele-specific amplification. Results: The recipient-donor discrepancy for rs4364254 HPSE SNP was significantly associated with grade II-IV aGvHD (HR 1.75, p = 0.03). Patients were stratified into risk groups as follows: low-risk group (LDR) including TT-TT, TT-CT, CT-TT, CC-CC; high-risk group (HDR) including CC-CT, CC-TT, CT-CC, CT–CT, TT-CC. Day 100 cumulative incidence of grade II-IV aGvHD was 23.4% in the LDR group and 41.4% in the HDR group (p = 0.01). One-year cumulative incidence of moderate/severe cGvHD was 42.6% in the LDR group and 58.6% in the HDR group (p = 0.04). Independent variables for moderate/severe cGvHD in patients who received myeloablative conditioning included donor rs4693608 SNP (GA/AA vs. GG: HR 6.86, p = 0.008), rs4693608-rs4364254 SNP combination in recipient (HR/MR vs. LR: HR 3.67, p = 0.01), and previous grade II-IV aGvHD (HR 3.28, p = 0.0005). Finally, donors with rs4364254 SNP CC conferred increased transplant-related mortality (TRM) (39.1% vs. 25%, p = 0.03) and decreased graft-relapse free survival (GRFS) (23.5% vs. 34.4%, p = 0.04) compared with CT or TT genotypes. Conclusion: The differences in incidence of GvHD according to recipient-donor genotype combinations suggests a possible role for rs4364254 HPSE SNP in predicting GvHD. A high level of HPSE, particularly linked to CC genotype of rs4364254 SNP may promote alloreactive T lymphocytes activation and migration toward target organs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)935-944
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Laboratory Hematology
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • GvHD
  • HPSE
  • rs4364254
  • rs4693608
  • single nucleotide polymorphisms


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