Background 1,3-β-glucanases (group 2 of pathogenesis-related proteins) are enzymes widely distributed among higher plants and have been recently proven to be significant allergens.
Objective The aim of this work was to study the potential implication of 1,3-β-glucanases in cross-reactivities among latex, pollen and vegetable foods.
Methods The cDNA encoding the N-terminal domain (NtD) of Ole e 9, a major allergenic 1,3-β-glucanase from olive pollen, was amplified by polymerase chain reaction and produced as a recombinant protein in Pichia pastoris (recombinant N-terminal domain, rNtD). Circular dichroism, ELISA, immunoblotting and immunoblotting inhibition experiments were carried out. Sera from olive pollen allergic patients and a rNtD-specific polyclonal antiserum were used.
Results The NtD of Ole e 9 has been produced at high yield in the yeast P. pastoris and possesses 1,3-β-glucanase activity. The expressed polypeptide conserves IgE and IgG immunodominant epitopes of the whole Ole e 9. A rNtD-specific polyclonal antiserum and sera from olive pollen allergic patients allowed detection of IgG and IgE reactive peptidic epitopes common to 1,3-β-glucanase Ole e 9 in extracts from ash and birch pollen, tomato, potato, bell-pepper, banana and latex.
Conclusion rNtD and homologous glucanases are new molecules to be used in diagnostic protocols as they could help to identify allergic pollen patients who are at risk for developing allergic symptoms to fruits, vegetables and latex.