15 A Bioinformatic Approach to Allergen Nomenclature Applied to Allergens From the Non-Biting Midge Chironomus thummi thummi
ABSTRACT: Background Representatives of the family Chironomidae (non-biting midges; order Diptera) are found worldwide. Freeze-dried chironomid larvae, predominantly of the species Chironomus thummi thummi are frequently used as fish food and are an allergen source for fish keepers and persons employed in the manufacture of fish food. At present, 9 allergens of C. thummi thummi have been assigned an official designation by the WHO/IUIS allergen nomenclature sub-committee: Chi t 1 to 9. All of them are hemoglobins with molecular weights of 16 kDa. IgE binding and cross-reactivity was clearly demonstrated for all these proteins. However, the assignment of 9 distinct allergen numbers to members of the same protein family is quite unusual. Methods Currently, the IUIS allergen database contains 12 allergen and isoallergen sequences from C. thummi thummi. The Uniprot database has demerged entry P02225, listed in the database for Chi t 7, into 7 entries, 5 from C. thummi thummi and 2 from C. thummi piger that are identical to 2 of the sequences from C. thummi thummi. Consequently, the 16 unique amino acid sequences of the mature C. thummi allergens were aligned using ClustalX2, a neighbor-joining tree was generated from the alignment and a percent sequence identity matrix was built to evaluate appropriate nomenclature. Results Pairwise sequence alignments showed that sequences belonging to allergens Chi t 5, 6, 7 and 8 possess sequence identities to Chi t 3 of between 51 and 63%. Chi t 1, 2, 4, and 9 diverge to a greater extent from Chi t 3 (<50% identical) and from each other. Phylogenetic tree analysis suggests the clustering of Chi t 3, 6, 7, and 8, while Chi t 1, 2, 4, 5, and 9 form separate clades. Conclusions Based on these analyses, the IUIS Allergen Nomenclature Sub-Committee renames Chi t 5, 6, 7 and 8 isoallergens of Chi t 3, even though their sequence identities to Chi t 3 are below the 67% threshold previously defined for isoallergens. The remaining hemoglobins, previously designated Chi t 1, 2, 4 and 9 will retain their previous names.
Project description:A systematic nomenclature for allergens originated in the early 1980s, when few protein allergens had been described. A group of scientists led by Dr. David G. Marsh developed a nomenclature based on the Linnaean taxonomy, and further established the World Health Organization/International Union of Immunological Societies (WHO/IUIS) Allergen Nomenclature Sub-Committee in 1986. Its stated aim was to standardize the names given to the antigens (allergens) that caused IgE-mediated allergies in humans. The Sub-Committee first published a revised list of allergen names in 1986, which continued to grow with rare publications until 1994. Between 1994 and 2007 the database was a text table online, then converted to a more readily updated website. The allergen list became the Allergen Nomenclature database (www.allergen.org), which currently includes approximately 880 proteins from a wide variety of sources. The Sub-Committee includes experts on clinical and molecular allergology. They review submissions of allergen candidates, using evidence-based criteria developed by the Sub-Committee. The review process assesses the biochemical analysis and the proof of allergenicity submitted, and aims to assign allergen names prior to publication. The Sub-Committee maintains and revises the database, and addresses continuous challenges as new "omics" technologies provide increasing data about potential new allergens. Most journals publishing information on new allergens require an official allergen name, which involves submission of confidential data to the WHO/IUIS Allergen Nomenclature Sub-Committee, sufficient to demonstrate binding of IgE from allergic subjects to the purified protein.
Project description:Peanut seeds are currently widely used as source of human food ingredients in the United States of America and in European countries due to their high quality protein and oil content. This article describes the classification and molecular biology of peanut seed allergens with particular reference to their cross-reactivities. Currently, the IUIS allergen nomenclature subcommittee accepts 12 peanut allergens. Two allergens belong to the cupin and four to the prolamin superfamily, and six are distributed among profilins, Bet v 1-like proteins, oleosins, and defensins. Clinical observations frequently report an association of peanut allergy with allergies to legumes, tree nuts, seeds, fruits and pollen. Molecular cross-reactivity has been described between members of the Bet v 1-like proteins, the non-specific lipid transfer proteins, and the profilins. This review also addresses the less well-studied cross-reactivity between cupin and prolamin allergens of peanuts and of other plant food sources and the recently discovered cross-reactivity between peanut allergens of unrelated protein families.
Project description:Allergenic proteins must crosslink specific IgE molecules, bound to the surface of mast cells and basophils, to stimulate an immune response. A structural understanding of the allergen-IgE interface is needed to predict cross-reactivities between allergens and to design hypoallergenic proteins. However, there are less than 90 experimentally determined structures available for the approximately 1500 sequences of allergens and isoallergens cataloged in the Structural Database of Allergenic Proteins. To provide reliable structural data for the remaining proteins, we previously produced more than 500 3D models using an automated procedure, with strict controls on template choice and model quality evaluation. Here, we assessed how well the fold and residue surface exposure of 10 of these models correlated with recently published experimental 3D structures determined by X-ray crystallography or NMR. We also discuss the impact of intrinsically disordered regions on the structural comparison and epitope prediction. Overall, for seven allergens with sequence identities to the original templates higher than 27%, the backbone root-mean square deviations were less than 2 Å between the models and the subsequently determined experimental structures for the ordered regions. Further, the surface exposure of the known IgE epitopes on the models of three major allergens, from peanut (Ara h 1), latex (Hev b 2), and soy (Gly m 4), was very similar to the experimentally determined structures. For the three remaining allergens with lower sequence identities to the modeling templates, the 3D folds were correctly identified. However, the accuracy of those models is not sufficient for a reliable epitope mapping.
Project description:House dust mites (HDMs) such as Dermatophagoides farinae and D. pteronyssinus represent major causes of perennial allergy. HDM proteomes are currently poorly characterized, with information mostly restricted to allergens. As of today, 33 distinct allergen groups have been identified for these 2 mite species, with groups 1 and 2 established as major allergens. Given the multiplicity of IgE-reactive mite proteins, potential additional allergens have likely been overlooked.To perform a comprehensive characterization of the transcriptomes, proteomes and allergomes of D. farinae and D. pteronyssinus in order to identify novel allergens.Transcriptomes were analyzed by RNA sequencing and de novo assembly. Comprehensive mass spectrometry-based analyses proteomes were combined with two-dimensional IgE reactivity profiling.Transcripts from D. farinae and D. pteronyssinus were assembled, translated into protein sequences and used to populate derived sequence databases in order to inform immunoproteomic analyses. A total of 527 and 157 proteins were identified by bottom-up MS analyses in aqueous extracts from purified HDM bodies and fecal pellets, respectively. Based on high sequence similarities (>71% identity), we also identified 2 partial and 11 complete putative sequences of currently undisclosed D. pteronyssinus counterparts of D. farinae registered allergens. Immunoprofiling on 2D-gels revealed the presence of unknown 23 kDa IgE reactive proteins in both species. Following expression of non-glycosylated recombinant forms of these molecules, we confirm that these new allergens react with serum IgEs from 42% (8/19) of HDM-allergic individuals.Using combined transcriptome and immunoproteome approaches, we provide a comprehensive characterization of D. farinae and D. pteronyssinus allergomes. We expanded the known allergen repertoire for D. pteronyssinus and identified two novel HDM allergens, now officially referred by the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS) Nomenclature Subcommittee as Der f 36 and Der p 36.
Project description:BackgroundThe prevalence of sensitization to ragweed has risen in North America and across Europe. Although the pectate lyase Amb a 1, the major allergen of ragweed, was identified as long ago as the 1960s, little is known about the allergenicity of the 5 Amb a 1 isoallergens and other allergens present in ragweed pollen. Ragweed extracts and purified Amb a 1 isoallergens have now been characterized for their allergenic potential to determine whether a single Amb a 1 isoallergen, several isoallergens or a combination with other allergens should be included in a recombinant SIT vaccine.MethodsExtracts from North American short ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) pollen were investigated by mass spectrometry (MS), 2D-PAGE and immunoblotting. Furthermore, Amb a 1 isoallergens were purified and IgE reactivity determined by immunoblotting and IgE inhibition.Results2D-PAGE and MS of ragweed extract proved the presence of all 5 known Amb a 1 isoallergens, of which Amb a 1.01 represents the dominant form. Additionally all other ragweed allergens known by sequence (Amb a 3, Amb a 4, Amb a 5, Amb a 6, Amb a 8, Amb a 9, Amb a 10) were identified. The highest IgE reactivity by immunoblotting was observed for Amb a 1.01 followed by Amb a 1.03; other Amb a 1 isoallergens as well as other detected ragweed allergens showed only weak IgE reactivity. All isoallergens with the exception of Amb a 1.04, which is only of low abundance in ragweed extract, were purified. Similar to the immunoblot analysis with crude extract, the purified isoallergens Amb a 1.02 and Amb a 1.05 showed weak IgE binding, whereas Amb a 1.01 and Amb a 1.03 had high IgE reactivity. First IgE inhibition experiments suggest that Amb a 1.01 contains all relevant IgE epitopes.ConclusionsAmb a 1.01 is the most abundant Amb a 1 isoallergen, and presumably the most important ragweed allergen. However, a larger panel of ragweed-allergic subjects has to be analyzed with regard to IgE and T cell reactivities, to be able to choose a candidate for a recombinant vaccine for specific immunotherapy of ragweed allergy.
Project description:Allergy against birch pollen is among the most common causes of spring pollinosis in Europe and is diagnosed and treated using extracts from natural sources. Quality control is crucial for safe and effective diagnosis and treatment. However, current methods are very difficult to standardize and do not address individual allergen or isoallergen composition. MS provides information regarding selected proteins or the entire proteome and could overcome the aforementioned limitations. We studied the proteome of birch pollen, focusing on allergens and isoallergens, to clarify which of the 93 published sequence variants of the major allergen, Bet v 1, are expressed as proteins within one source material in parallel. The unexpectedly complex Bet v 1 isoallergen composition required manual data interpretation and a specific design of databases, as current database search engines fail to unambiguously assign spectra to highly homologous, partially identical proteins. We identified 47 non-allergenic proteins and all 5 known birch pollen allergens, and unambiguously proved the existence of 18 Bet v 1 isoallergens and variants by manual data analysis. This highly complex isoallergen composition raises questions whether isoallergens can be ignored or must be included for the quality control of allergen products, and which data analysis strategies are to be applied.
Project description:Immunoglobulin E-mediated food allergy is the result of a complex pathomechanism. Factors contributing to the dysfunction of the immune system are the allergenic sources and the variable matrix effects arising from the processes involved in interaction with the gastrointestinal tract, the allergens themselves through their structural features, and the specific behavior of the individual immune system. The starting point for elucidating the pathomechanism of food allergy is the identification of allergens and the description of their structure. They are the basis for in vitro diagnostics as well as the development of immunotherapeutic drugs. With regard to Class I food allergy, peanut allergy affects by far the largest group of patients. 11 allergens have been identified in peanuts. Ara h 1, Ara h 3, and Ara h 4 belong to the cupin superfamily, Ara h 2, Ara h 6, and Ara h 7 to the prolamin superfamily; Ara h 5 (profilins) and Ara h 8 (superfamily of Bet v 1-homologous proteins) are associated with aeroallergens. Peanut lipid transfer proteins (LTP) and two peanut oleosins are listed as Ara h 9, Ara h 10, and Ara h 11 by the IUIS Allergen Nomenclature Subcommittee. Peanut agglutinin (PNA) and a third oleosin have been shown to possess allergenic properties. The effect of the above specified allergens has to be considered in the context of their matrix, which is influenced by processing factors.
Project description:Dust of green coffee beans is known to be a relevant cause for occupational allergic disorders in coffee industry workers. Recently, we described the first coffee allergen (Cof a 1) establishing an allergenic potential of green coffee dust.Our aim was to identify allergenic components of green coffee in order to enhance inhalative coffee allergy diagnosis.A Coffea arabica pJuFo cDNA phage display library was created and screened for IgE binding with sera from allergic coffee workers. Two further coffee allergens were identified by sequence analysis, expressed in E. coli, and evaluated by Western blots. The prevalence of sensitization to recombinant Cof a 1, Cof a 2, and Cof a 3 and to commercially available extract was investigated by ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) respectively CAP (capacity test) screening in 18 sera of symptomatic coffee workers.In addition to the previously described chitinase Cof a 1, two Coffea arabica cysteine-rich metallothioneins of 9 and 7 kDa were identified and included in the IUIS Allergen Nomenclature as Cof a 2 and Cof a 3. Serum IgE antibodies to at least one of the recombinant allergens were found in 8 out of 18 symptomatic coffee workers (44%). Only 2 of the analysed sera (11%) had reacted previously to the commercial allergy test.In addition to the previously described Cof a 1 we have identified two further coffee proteins to be type I coffee allergens (Cof a 2 and Cof a 3) which may have a relevant potential for the specific diagnosis and/or therapy of coffee allergy.
Project description:<b>Background: </b>Artemisia weed pollen allergy is important in the northern hemisphere. While over 350 species of this genus have been recorded, there has been no full investigation into whether different species may affect the allergen diagnosis and treatment. This study aimed to evaluate the variations in amino acid sequences and the content of major allergens, and how these affect specific IgE binding capacity in representative Artemisia species.<br><br><b>Methods: </b>Six representative Artemisia species from China and Artemisia vulgaris from Europe were used to determine allergen amino acid sequences by transcriptome, gene sequencing and mass spectrometry of the purified allergen component proteins. Sandwich ELISAs were developed and applied for Art v 1, Art v 2 and Art v 3 allergen quantification in different species. Aqueous pollen extracts and purified allergen components were used to assess IgE binding by ELISA and ImmunoCAP with mugwort allergic patient serum pools and individual sera from five areas in China.<br><br><b>Results: </b>The Art v 1 and Art v 2 homologous allergen sequences in the seven Artemisia species were highly conserved. Art v 3 type allergens in A. annua and A. sieversiana were more divergent compared to A. argyi and A. vulgaris. The allergen content of Art v 1 group in the seven extracts ranged from 3.4% to 7.1%, that of Art v 2 from 1.0% to 3.6%, and Art v 3 from 0.3% to 10.5%. The highest IgE binding potency for most Chinese Artemisia allergy patients was with A. annua pollen extract, followed by A. vulgaris and A. argyi, with A. sieversiana significantly lower. Natural Art v 1-3 isoallergens from different species have almost equivalent IgE binding capacity in Artemisia allergic patients from China.<br><br><b>Conclusion and clinical relevance: </b>There was high sequence similarity but different content of the three group allergens from different Artemisia species. Choice of Artemisia annua and A. argyi pollen source for diagnosis and immunotherapy is recommended in China.
Project description:The World Health Organization/International Union of Immunological Societies (WHO/IUIS) Allergen Nomenclature Sub-Committee was established in 1986 by leading allergists to standardize names given to proteins that cause IgE-mediated reactions in humans. The Sub-Committee's objective is to assign unique names to allergens based on a critical analysis of confidentially submitted biochemical and clinical data from researchers, often prior to publication to preserve consistency. The Sub-Committee maintains and revises the database as the understanding of allergens evolves. This report summarizes recent developments that led to updates in classification of cockroach group 1 and 5 allergens to animal as well as environmental and occupational allergens. Interestingly, routes, doses, and frequency of exposure often affects allergenicity as does the biochemical properties of the proteins and similarity to self and other proteins. Information required by the Sub-Committee now is more extensive than previously as technology has improved. Identification of new allergens requires identification of the amino acid sequence and physical characteristics of the protein as well as demonstration of IgE binding from subjects verified by described clinical histories, proof of the presence of the protein in relevant exposure substances, and demonstration of biological activity (skin prick tests, activation of basophils, or mast cells). Names are assigned based on taxonomy with the abbreviation of genus and species and assignment of a number, which reflects the priority of discovery, but more often now, the relationships with homologous proteins in related species.