• Bakers' asthma;
  • Wheat grain allergens;
  • Two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis;
  • Immobilized pH gradients;
  • Protein sequencing


Micropreparative two-dimensional (2-D) gel electrophoresis with immobilized pH gradients (4–8) in the first dimension (IPG-DALT) was optimized for the separation of salt-soluble wheat grain proteins associated with bakers' asthma disease. The resolved polypeptides were electroblotted onto a polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) membrane and incubated with the pooled sera from four asthmatic bakers. Bound IgE was demonstrated by alkaline phosphatase conjugated anti-human IgE. Major IgE binding was detected in the 27 kDa, 37 kDa and, to a lesser extent, in the 14–18 kDa area of the 2-D immunoblots, respectively. Since the main purpose of our study was to determine the N-terminal amino acid sequences of the major wheat grain allergens, N-terminal sequencing was performed for six out of a total of eleven major allergens located in the 27 kDa area, for one out of two 37 kDa allergens, and for two out of four 14–18 kDa allergens. Our results revealed that two of the 27 kDa polypeptides are clearly related to several Acyl-CoA oxidase variants of barley and rice, whereas no significant homologies were found for the remaining four 27 kDa allergens analyzed. The N-terminus of the 37 kDa allergen appeared to be blocked so that no sequence information was obtained, while the two 14–18 kDa allergens analyzed were identified as members of the wheat α-amylase-inhibitor family.