- Top of page
- Material and methods
- Preparation of the antigens
- cDNA synthesis and cloning of Hev b 6.01, 6.02, 6.03
- Expression and purification of r-Hev b 6.01, 6.02, 6.03
- Preparation of hevein and synthesis of the two modified hevein peptides
- Antigen-induced PBMC stimulation
- HLA restriction study
- HLA class II typing
- Detection of total and latex-specific IgE antibodies
- Predicting HLA-DR binding motifs
- MBP-rHev b 6.01, MBP-rHev b 6.02 and MBP-rHev b 6.03 specific IgE antibodies in the patient sera
- Proliferation responses induced by MBP-rHev b 6.01, MBP-rHev b 6.02, MBP-rHev b 6.03, Hev b 6.02 and WGA
- Specific IgE binding and proliferation response to native Hev b 6.02 and to the synthetic, modified Hev b 6.02-peptides
- Inhibition experiments with anti-HLA-DR, anti-HLA-DQ and anti-HLA-DP
- Genetic analysis of HLA-DRB1, DRB3, DRB4, DRB5, and DQB1 alleles
- Predictions of MHC II peptide binding motifs of Hev b 6.01
Background: Multiple immunoglobulin E (IgE)-binding proteins in natural rubber latex extracts have been identified. In the case of Hev b 6 a differentiation was made between the precursor protein prohevein (Hev b 6.01) and its two post-transcriptionally formed proteins, the N-terminal hevein (Hev b 6.02) and the C-terminal domain (Hev b 6.03). All three components act as independent allergens. The aim of this study was a detailed analysis of the T-cell responses and the IgE-binding capacity of Hev b 6.01, Hev b 6.02 and Hev b 6.03 by using these allergens as recombinant maltose-binding fusion (MBP) proteins and the usage of synthetic modified hevein peptides.
Methods: Latex-allergic health care workers (HCWs) suffering from rhinitis, conjunctivitis, contact urticaria and/or asthma with increased specific IgE-antibodies to latex were tested for their IgE-binding capacity and T-cell reactivity (by proliferation response) to the recombinant MBP-rHev b 6.01, MBP-rHev b 6.02, MBP-rHev b 6.03, to native Hev b 6.02, to modified hevein peptides and wheat germ agglutinin (WGA). For testing of the human leucocyte antigen (HLA) class II restriction of MBP-rHev b 6.01 induced peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) responses, monoclonal antibodies against HLA-DR, HLA-DP or HLA-DQ were added.
Results: Seventeen of 18 (94%) serum samples from latex-allergic HCWs had increased levels of specific IgE to MBP-rHev b 6.01, 16 (89%) to MBP-rHev b 6.02 and 13 (72%) to MBP-rHev b 6.03. A significant difference existed between the specific IgE-values of MBP-rHev b 6.02 and MBP-rHev b 6.03 (P < 0.01). Proliferation responses of PBMC of the same 18 latex-allergic patients were positive for MBP-rHev b 6.01 and MBP-rHev b 6.03 in 83 and 67% of the tested PBMC suspension, whereas the proliferation responses induced with MBP-rHev b 6.02 or native Hev b 6.02 were very low (5.6 and 22.2%). Sera from nine additional latex-allergic patients showed specific IgE binding to the native Hev b 6.02, but none of these sera showed specific IgE binding to the modified Hev b 6.02-peptides [whereby all eight cysteine residues were substituted by serine (C S) or by alanine (C A)]. Proliferation responses induced by the modified Hev b 6.02 peptides were not significantly different from that induced by Hev b 6.02. Potential HLA-DR4Dw4(DRB1*0401)-restricted T-cell epitopes of Hev b 6.01 predicted by two computer algorithms were only found in the Hev b 6.03-part of Hev b 6.01.
Conclusion: In the Hev b 6.01 precursor the regions responsible for IgE binding and those for inducing the T-cell proliferation responses are settled in different parts of the protein. The Hev b 6.02 domain is responsible for IgE binding and carries discontinuous B-cell epitopes whereas Hev b 6.03 is a better inducer of a proliferation response and contains HLA-DR4-binding motifs.