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Innsbruck, Austria

Vitateq Biotechnology Gmbh | Date: 2012-06-28

Described is a method for in vitro diagnosing whether a pregnant woman has a risk for developing preeclampsia (PE) comprising the steps of determining the afamin content of the pregnant woman in a blood sample or a blood-derived sample, urine, amniotic and cerebrospinal fluid; or determining the content of afamin m-RNA in a liver tissue sample; and comparing the afamin content determined in the sample with a reference value.

Dieplinger H.,Innsbruck Medical University | Dieplinger H.,Vitateq Biotechnology GmbH
Clinica Chimica Acta | Year: 2015

The human glycoprotein afamin was discovered as the fourth member of the albumin gene family. Despite intense research over the last 20. years, our knowledge of afamin's physiological or pathophysiological functions is still very limited. Circulating afamin is primarily of hepatic origin and abundant concentrations are found in plasma, cerebrospinal, ovarian follicular and seminal fluids. In vitro binding studies revealed specific binding properties for vitamin E. A previously performed analytical characterization and clinical evaluation study of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for quantitative measurement of afamin in human plasma demonstrated that the afamin assay meets the quality specifications for laboratory medicine. Comparative proteomics has identified afamin as a potential biomarker for ovarian cancer and these findings were confirmed by quantitative immunoassay of afamin and validated in independent cohorts of patients with ovarian cancer. Afamin has also been investigated in other types of carcinoma. Most of these studies await further evaluation with validated quantitative afamin assays and require validation in larger patient cohorts. Transgenic mice overexpressing the human afamin gene revealed increased body weight and increased blood concentrations of lipids and glucose. These transgenic mouse data were in line with three large human population-based studies showing that afamin is strongly associated with the prevalence and development of the metabolic syndrome. This review summarizes and discusses the molecular, biochemical and analytical characterization of afamin as well as possible clinical applications of afamin measurement. © 2015.

Melmer A.,Innsbruck Medical University | Fineder L.,Innsbruck Medical University | Lamina C.,Innsbruck Medical University | Kollerits B.,Innsbruck Medical University | And 11 more authors.
Gynecologic Oncology | Year: 2013

Objective: Comparative proteomics identified the plasma protein afamin as potential biomarker for ovarian cancer (OC). Significantly decreased afamin plasma concentrations in pre-therapeutic OC patients reconstituted to control values after successful tumor surgery. This study evaluates the association of afamin with survival and response to therapy in serous OC patients within the OVCAD consortium project. Methods: We measured afamin in 215 pre-therapeutic plasma samples, 246 tumor lysates and 109 plasma samples taken 6 months after finishing platinum-based chemotherapy. Differences in afamin plasma concentrations among FIGO stages were tested by Kruskal-Wallis test; association of afamin concentrations with overall and progression-free survival was evaluated using Kaplan-Meier survival plots and multivariate adjusted COX regression analysis. Results: Pre-therapeutic afamin correlated significantly with FIGO stages (p = 0.012) and was lower in the presence of metastases (p = 0.013) and poorly differentiated OC in patients responding to therapy (p = 0.016). Afamin ≥ 48.0 mg/L was also associated with a lower hazard ratio for recurrent disease as compared to afamin < 48.0 mg/L (p = 0.007). Post-therapeutic afamin ≥ 48 mg/L was positively correlated with overall (p < 0.001) and progression-free (p = 0.012) survival and was lower in non-responders than in responders (p = 0.048). Thus, afamin returned post-therapeutically to values of healthy controls in responders (p < 0.001) but not in non-responders (p = 0.114). Afamin in tumor lysates was lower in poorly differentiated OC than in G 1 + 2 tumors (p = 0.041). Higher afamin concentrations in tumor lysates were associated with increased overall survival (p = 0.003). Conclusion: These data indicate that afamin is associated with therapy response and survival rate in advanced OC patients. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Hubalek M.,Innsbruck Medical University | Buchner H.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Mortl M.G.,Medical University of Graz | Schlembach D.,Medical University of Graz | And 7 more authors.
Clinica Chimica Acta | Year: 2014

Background: Afamin is a liver-derived plasma glycoprotein with vitamin E-binding properties and a putative function in fertility. This study evaluated serum afamin concentrations during and postpartum to uncomplicated pregnancies and investigated a potential association between afamin concentrations and pregnancy outcome. Methods: Afamin serum concentrations were measured in women with uncomplicated pregnancies in a retrospective cohort (n=466) at different gestational ages and a prospective observational study (n=76) in the first, second and third trimester. Furthermore, afamin was determined in the first trimester in a cross-sectional pilot study including women with preeclampsia (PE), pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) and women without pregnancy complications (n=13 each). Finally, expression of afamin was investigated in human placental tissue by RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. Results: Afamin concentrations increased linearly almost two-fold during pregnancy in both retrospective and prospective studies in women without pregnancy complications with median afamin serum concentrations of 61.9. mg/l, 79.6. mg/l, and 98.6. mg/l in the first, second, and third trimester, respectively. After delivery, median afamin concentrations decreased to baseline values of 54.6. mg/l. In the pilot study with pregnancy complications, women with PE displayed significantly higher median afamin concentrations than did women with uncomplicated pregnancy (70.0. mg/l vs. 55.4. mg/l, P=0.007). Expression analyses revealed no placental afamin expression at either mRNA or protein level in uncomplicated pregnancy. Conclusion: A linear increase in the maternally expressed glycoprotein afamin during pregnancy may serve as basic reference for subsequent investigations of afamin in pregnancy-related disorders. © 2014.

Gabriel C.,Red Cross | Poelz W.,Johannes Kepler University | Morandell E.,Innsbruck Medical University | Seeber B.,Innsbruck Medical University | And 3 more authors.
Clinica Chimica Acta | Year: 2013

Background: Comparative proteomics has recently identified afamin, the newest member of the albumin gene family, as a potential biomarker for ovarian cancer. The aim of this study was the analytical and clinical evaluation of a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the determination of afamin in human plasma. Methods: We evaluated precision, linearity, and detection limit of the assay, analyte stability and biological variability, determined reference values and quantified afamin concentrations in various diseases. Results: Within-run and total coefficients of variation were <. 10%. The method was linear across the tested measurement range. Detection limit was 7. mg/L for the assay. The analyte was stable for 24. h at room temperature, for 48. h at 4. °C, and for at least one year at - 20. °C and - 80. °C. The reference change value for healthy individuals was 24%. Age- and sex-independent reference values in healthy blood donors were 45-99. mg/L (median 68. mg/L). In the clinical assay evaluation afamin plasma concentrations were modestly decreased in patients with heart failure. Patients with pneumonia or sepsis exhibited markedly decreased afamin plasma concentrations. However, patients with chronic renal disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease showed no difference in afamin plasma concentrations as compared to healthy individuals. Correlation analyses revealed an inverse association between afamin and inflammatory biomarkers. Conclusions: The afamin assay meets quality specifications for laboratory medicine. The results of the clinical assay evaluation revealed novel insights with respect to afamin as a potential negative acute phase protein and should encourage further studies. © 2013.

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