To cite this article: Ciardiello MA, Palazzo P, Bernardi ML, Carratore V, Giangrieco I, Longo V, Melis M, Tamburrini M, Zennaro D, Mari A, Colombo P. Biochemical, immunological and clinical characterization of a cross-reactive nonspecific lipid transfer protein 1 from mulberry. Allergy 2010; 65: 597–605.
Background: Mulberry (Morus spp.) is a genus comprising several species of deciduous trees whose fruits are commonly eaten in southern Europe. Subjects with severe systemic reaction have been described. The aim of this study was to isolate the allergens of this species.
Methods: A nonspecific lipid transfer protein 1 (ns-LTP1) was purified from black mulberry by ion exchange and reverse phase high-performance liquid chromatography, and the primary structure was elucidated by direct protein sequencing. Its allergenic activity was evaluated in vivo by skin prick test and in vitro by Western Blot, CD203c basophil activation assay and high throughput multiplex inhibition method on immunosolid-phase allergen chip (ISAC).
Results: Mulberry ns-LTP (Mor n 3) comprises 91 amino acids producing a molecular mass of 9246 Da. This protein shows high sequence identity with several allergenic ns-LTP1. Immunoblot analysis and CD203c activation assay demonstrated its allergenic activity in symptomatic subjects and in ns-LTP allergic patients who are not mulberry consumers. Immunological co-recognition was studied in vivo on a selected group of well-characterized ns-LTP allergic patients showing a high percentage of nMor n 3+ subjects (88.46%) even in patients who have never eaten mulberry before. IgE inhibition on ISAC micro-array demonstrated an almost complete cross-reactivity to nArt v 3, rCor a 8 and a very high percentage of inhibition to nPru p 3.
Conclusions: Mor n 3 is the first allergen isolated in black mulberry and immunologically characterized. It displayed allergenic activity among symptomatic and nonconsumer patients and a pattern of cross-reactivity to other plant-derived LTPs.