Background: Cockroach infestation may sensitize and elicit allergic responses to genetically predisposed individuals. Invertebrate tropomyosins are a frequent cause of allergy and highly cross-reactive in nature. In this study, we aimed to produce recombinant German cockroach tropomyosin and investigate its allergenicity.
Methods: German cockroach tropomyosin (Bla g 7) was cloned by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The cloned cDNA was over-expressed in Escherichia coli and purified by affinity chromatography using Ni-nitrilotriacetic (NTA) acid resin. The allergenicity of the recombinant tropomyosin was examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
Results: The cloned Bla g 7 shared up to 91% amino acid sequence identity with other cockroach tropomyosins. ELISA showed a recombinant Bla g 7 sensitization rate of 16.2% to German cockroach allergic sera. Recombinant tropomyosin was able to inhibit 32.4% of the specific IgE binding to cockroach extract.
Conclusions: Tropomyosin represents a minor allergen in cockroach extracts. It is hoped that recombinant tropomyosin will be useful for further studies and clinical applications.