Cloning of oleosin, a putative new hazelnut allergen, using a hazelnut cDNA library



The clinical presentation of non-pollen related allergy to hazelnut can be severe and systemic. So far, only a limited number of non-pollen related hazelnut allergens have been identified and characterized. The aim of this study was to identify and clone new hazelnut allergens. A lambda ZAP cDNA library of hazelnut was constructed. The library was screened with serum of six hazelnut allergic patients displaying different IgE-binding patterns on hazelnut immunoblot. Rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) protocols were applied to obtain full-length clones. Expression experiments were carried out in Eschericchia coli. Expression was monitored by SDS-PAGE, protein staining and immunoblotting. A hazelnut cDNA library was constructed. IgE screening resulted in the cloning of two isoforms of a novel putative hazelnut allergen. The clones were identified as oleosins, with theoretical molecular masses of 16.7 and 14.7 kDa and pI of 10.5 and 10.0, respectively. The isoforms demonstrated only 37% amino acid sequence identity but contained the typical hydrophobic stretch in the middle of the protein (53% identity) with the characteristic oleosin proline knot region (11/12 amino acids identical). Expression in E. coli of the longer isoform resulted in a clear band on SDS-PAGE. The expressed protein was recognized on an immunodot blot by IgE from serum that was used for screening the cDNA library. Hazelnut contains multiple isoforms of oleosin. IgE binding of a hazelnut-allergic patient to a recombinant version suggest that hazelnut oleosin is an allergen, as has been described for peanut and sesame.