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HE-4 (Human Epididymis Protein 4)

Analyte: Human Epididymis Protein 4

Specimen Type: For information on this assay, please contact PBI.

Biological or Clinical Significance:

The human epididymal protein 4 (HE4) belongs to the family of whey acidic four-disulfide core proteins with suspected trypsin inhibitor properties.  The corresponding gene codes for a 13 kDa protein.  In its mature glycosylated form, the protein has a molecular weight of approximately 20-25 kDa and consists of a single peptide chain containing two WFDC domains.

HE4 was first determined in the epithelium of the distal epididymis.  It shows low expression of in epithelia of respiratory and reproductive tissues including ovary, but high expression in ovarian cancer tissue.  High secreted levels can also be found in the serum of ovarian cancer patients.  HE4 is also expected to help in the risk assessment of epithelial ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer-related death in women worldwide.  It is the most lethal form of gynecological cancer, and potentially curable if diagnosed early.

Principle of Test Method:

The HE4 assay is an automated elecrochemilumninescent immunoassay (ECLIA).

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