Journal of Clinical Immunology

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 143–150

Serum Growth Arrest-Specific Protein 6 Levels are a Reliable Biomarker of Disease Activity in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

  • Hyoun-Ah Kim
  • Jin-Young Nam
  • Ja-Young Jeon
  • Jeong-Mi An
  • Ju-Yang Jung
  • Chang-Bum Bae
  • Chang-Hee Suh
Original Research



Growth arrest-specific protein 6 (Gas6) has been suggested to be a biomarker of disease activity in patients with systemic lupus erthematosus (SLE). We investigated the clinical significance of this protein in Korean SLE.


Blood samples were collected from 150 SLE patients and 50 normal controls (NC). In addition, follow-up samples were collected from 50 SLE patients.


Serum Gas6 levels of SLE patients (43.01 ± 28.02 ng/mL) were higher than those of NC (20.15 ± 9.23 ng/mL, p < 0.001). When evaluated sensitivity and specificity of the Gas6 for diagnosing SLE using ROC curves, the sensitivity and specificity were 72.7 % and 84 % with a cut-off value of 25.3 ng/mL. In the ROC analysis of Gas6, anti-dsDNA antibody, ESR, complement 3 and complement 4 to identify patients with active lupus, area under the curve (AUC) of Gas6 was highest with 0.763. Serum Gas6 levels were significantly higher in the patients with serositis (70.04 ± 30.85 ng/mL) and renal disorder (65.66 ±32.28 ng/mL) compared to those without (41.88 ± 27.44 ng/mL, p = 0.033, 40.3 ± 26.33 ng/mL, p = 0.001, respectively). Gas6 levels were correlated positively with anti-dsDNA antibody (r = 0.199, p = 0.015), ESR (r = 0.204, p = 0.013) and SLEDAI (r = 0.512, p < 0.001). In addition, serum Gas6 levels were correlated negatively with hemoglobin (r = −0.165, p = 0.043), lymphocyte count (r = −0.165, p = 0.043), complement 3 (r = −0.343, p < 0.001) and complement 4 (r = −0.316, p < 0.001). Furthermore, change in serum Gas6 levels was correlated with change in SLEDAI levels in the SLE patients that were followed up (r = 0.524, p < 0.001).


These results suggest that serum Gas6 can be a reliable clinical marker for monitoring disease activity and treatment response in SLE.


Growth arrest-specific protein 6 systemic lupus erythematosus disease activity biomarker 



American College of Rheumatology


Anti-double stranded DNA


British Isles Lupus Assessment Group


Erythrocyte sedimentation rate


Growth arrest-specific protein 6


Normal controls


Systemic lupus erthematosus


Systemic lupus erythematosus disease activity index


0.1 % Tween 20 in TBS


Tyro-3, Axl and Mer


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyoun-Ah Kim
    • 1
  • Jin-Young Nam
    • 1
  • Ja-Young Jeon
    • 1
  • Jeong-Mi An
    • 1
  • Ju-Yang Jung
    • 1
  • Chang-Bum Bae
    • 1
  • Chang-Hee Suh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Rheumatology and BK21 Division of Cell Transformation and RestorationAjou University School of MedicineSuwonSouth Korea

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