Determination of allergen specificity by heavy chains in grass pollen allergen-specific IgE antibodies.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Affinity and clonality of allergen-specific IgE antibodies are important determinants for the magnitude of IgE-mediated allergic inflammation. OBJECTIVE:We sought to analyze the contribution of heavy and light chains of human allergen-specific IgE antibodies for allergen specificity and to test whether promiscuous pairing of heavy and light chains with different allergen specificity allows binding and might affect affinity. METHODS:Ten IgE Fabs specific for 3 non-cross-reactive major timothy grass pollen allergens (Phl p 1, Phl p 2, and Phl p 5) obtained by means of combinatorial cloning from patients with grass pollen allergy were used to construct stable recombinant single chain variable fragments (ScFvs) representing the original Fabs and shuffled ScFvs in which heavy chains were recombined with light chains from IgE Fabs with specificity for other allergens by using the pCANTAB 5 E expression system. Possible ancestor genes for the heavy chain and light chain variable region-encoding genes were determined by using sequence comparison with the ImMunoGeneTics database, and their chromosomal locations were determined. Recombinant ScFvs were tested for allergen specificity and epitope recognition by means of direct and sandwich ELISA, and affinity by using surface plasmon resonance experiments. RESULTS:The shuffling experiments demonstrate that promiscuous pairing of heavy and light chains is possible and maintains allergen specificity, which is mainly determined by the heavy chains. ScFvs consisting of different heavy and light chains exhibited different affinities and even epitope specificity for the corresponding allergen. CONCLUSION:Our results indicate that allergen specificity of allergen-specific IgE is mainly determined by the heavy chains. Different heavy and light chain pairings in allergen-specific IgE antibodies affect affinity and epitope specificity and thus might influence clinical reactivity to allergens.
Project description:The timothy grass pollen allergen Phl p 1 belongs to the group 1 of highly cross-reactive grass pollen allergens with a molecular mass of ?25-30 kDa. Group 1 allergens are recognized by >95% of grass pollen allergic patients. We investigated the IgE recognition of Phl p 1 using allergen-specific IgE-derived single-chain variable Ab fragments (IgE-ScFvs) isolated from a combinatorial library constructed from PBMCs of a grass pollen-allergic patient. IgE-ScFvs reacted with recombinant Phl p 1 and natural group 1 grass pollen allergens. Using synthetic Phl p 1-derived peptides, the binding sites of two ScFvs were mapped to the N terminus of the allergen. In surface plasmon resonance experiments they showed comparable high-affinity binding to Phl p 1 as a complete human IgE-derived Ab recognizing the allergens' C terminus. In a set of surface plasmon resonance experiments simultaneous allergen recognition of all three binders was demonstrated. Even in the presence of the three binders, allergic patients' polyclonal IgE reacted with Phl p 1, indicating high-density IgE recognition of the Phl p 1 allergen. Our results show that multiple IgE Abs can bind with high density to Phl p 1, which may explain the high allergenic activity and sensitizing capacity of this allergen.
Project description:Antibodies classically bind antigens via their complementarity-determining regions, but an alternative mode of interaction involving V-domain framework regions has been observed for some B cell "superantigens." We report the crystal structure of an antibody employing both modes of interaction simultaneously and binding two antigen molecules. This human antibody from an allergic individual binds to the grass pollen allergen Phl p 7. Not only are two allergen molecules bound to each antibody fragment (Fab) but also each allergen molecule is bound by two Fabs: One epitope is recognized classically, the other in a superantigen-like manner. A single allergen molecule thus cross-links two identical Fabs, contrary to the one-antibody-one-epitope dogma, which dictates that a dimeric allergen at least is required for this to occur. Allergens trigger immediate hypersensitivity reactions by cross-linking receptor-bound IgE molecules on effector cells. We found that monomeric Phl p 7 induced degranulation of basophils sensitized solely with this monoclonal antibody expressed as an IgE, demonstrating that the dual specificity has functional consequences. The monomeric state of Phl p 7 and two structurally related allergens was confirmed by size-exclusion chromatography and multiangle laser light scattering, and the results were supported by degranulation studies with the related allergens, a second patient-derived allergen-specific antibody lacking the nonclassical binding site, and mutagenesis of the nonclassically recognized allergen epitope. The antibody dual reactivity and cross-linking mechanism not only have implications for understanding allergenicity and allergen potency but, importantly, also have broader relevance to antigen recognition by membrane Ig and cross-linking of the B cell receptor.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Skin testing represents a commonly used first diagnostic method in clinical practice, but allergen extracts may vary in composition and often contain cross-reactive allergens and therefore do not always allow the precise identification of the sensitizing allergen source. Our aim was to investigate the suitability of a single recombinant hybrid molecule, consisting of the four major timothy grass pollen allergens (Phl p 1, Phl p 2, Phl p 5, and Phl p 6) for in vivo diagnosis of genuine grass pollen allergy in children suffering from pollinosis. METHODS:Sixty-four children aged from 6 to 17 years with a positive skin reaction and/or specific IgE to grass pollen extract and respiratory symptoms of pollinosis as well as 9 control children with allergy to other allergen sources were studied. SPT was performed with the recombinant hybrid, the four recombinant timothy grass pollen allergens, and grass pollen extract. Specific IgE reactivity to 176 micro-arrayed allergen molecules was determined using ImmunoCAP ISAC technology. IgE reactivity to the hybrid was detected by non-denaturing RAST-based dot blot assay. RESULTS:Genuine grass pollen sensitization was confirmed in 94% of the children with positive SPT to grass pollen extract by SPT and IgE reactivity to the hybrid. The four hybrid-negative children showed IgE reactivity to cross-reactive allergens such as Phl p 4, Phl p 11, and Phl p 12 and had also sensitizations to pollen allergens from unrelated plants. CONCLUSIONS:The recombinant hybrid molecule represents a useful tool for in vivo diagnosis of genuine grass pollen sensitization.
Project description:Group 2 and 3 grass pollen allergens are major allergens with high allergenic activity and exhibit structural similarity with the C-terminal portion of major group 1 allergens. In this study, we aimed to determine the crystal structure of timothy grass pollen allergen, Phl p 3, and to study its IgE recognition and cross-reactivity with group 2 and group 1 allergens.The three-dimensional structure of Phl p 3 was solved by X-ray crystallography and compared with the structures of group 1 and 2 grass pollen allergens. Cross-reactivity was studied using a human monoclonal antibody which inhibits allergic patients' IgE binding and by IgE inhibition experiments with patients' sera. Conformational Phl p 3 IgE epitopes were predicted with the algorithm SPADE, and Phl p 3 variants containing single point mutations in the predicted IgE binding sites were produced to analyze allergic patients' IgE binding.Phl p 3 is a globular ?-sandwich protein showing structural similarity to Phl p 2 and the Phl p 1-C-terminal domain. Phl p 3 showed IgE cross-reactivity with group 2 allergens but not with group 1 allergens. SPADE identified two conformational IgE epitope-containing areas, of which one overlaps with the epitope defined by the monoclonal antibody. The mutation of arginine 68 to alanine completely abolished binding of the blocking antibody. This mutation and a mutation of D13 in the predicted second IgE epitope area also reduced allergic patients' IgE binding.Group 3 and group 2 grass pollen allergens are cross-reactive allergens containing conformational IgE epitopes. They lack relevant IgE cross-reactivity with group 1 allergens and therefore need to be included in diagnostic tests and allergen-specific treatments in addition to group 1 allergens.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Group 5 allergens are small proteins that consist of two domains. They belong to the most potent respiratory allergens. OBJECTIVE: To determine the binding sites and to study allergic patients' IgE recognition of the group 5 allergen (Phl p 5) from timothy grass pollen using human monoclonal IgE antibodies that have been isolated from grass pollen allergic patients. METHODS: Using recombinant isoallergens, fragments, mutants and synthetic peptides of Phl p 5, as well as peptide-specific antibodies, the interaction of recombinant human monoclonal IgE and Phl p 5 was studied using direct binding and blocking assays. Cross-reactivity of monoclonal IgE with group 5 allergens in several grasses was studied and inhibition experiments with patients' polyclonal IgE were performed. RESULTS: Monoclonal human IgE showed extensive cross-reactivity with group 5 allergens in several grasses. Despite its small size of 29 kDa, four independent epitope clusters on isoallergen Phl p 5.0101, two in each domain, were recognized by human IgE. Isoallergen Phl p 5.0201 carried two of these epitopes. Inhibition studies with allergic patients' polyclonal IgE suggest the presence of additional IgE epitopes on Phl p 5. CONCLUSIONS & CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Our results reveal the presence of a large number of independent IgE epitopes on the Phl p 5 allergen explaining the high allergenic activity of this protein and its ability to induce severe allergic symptoms. High-density IgE recognition may be a general feature of many potent allergens and form a basis for the development of improved diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in allergic disease.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The calcium-binding 2EF-hand protein Phl p 7 from timothy grass pollen is a highly cross-reactive pollen pan-allergen that can induce severe clinical symptoms in allergic patients. Recently, a human monoclonal Phl p 7-specific IgG4 antibody (mAb102.1F10) was isolated from a patient who had received grass pollen-specific immunotherapy (SIT). METHODS:We studied epitope specificity, cross-reactivity, affinity and cross-protection of mAb102.1F10 towards homologous calcium-binding pollen allergens. Sequence comparisons and molecular modelling studies were performed with ClustalW and SPADE, respectively. Surface plasmon resonance measurements were made with purified recombinant allergens. Binding and cross-reactivity of patients' IgE and mAb102.1F10 to calcium-binding allergens and peptides thereof were studied with quantitative RAST-based methods, in ELISA, basophil activation and IgE-facilitated allergen presentation experiments. RESULTS:Allergens from timothy grass (Phl p 7), alder (Aln g 4), birch (Bet v 4), turnip rape (Bra r 1), lamb's quarter (Che a 3) and olive (Ole e 3, Ole e 8) showed high sequence similarity and cross-reacted with allergic patients' IgE. mAb102.1F10 bound the C-terminal portion of Phl p 7 in a calcium-dependent manner. It cross-reacted with high affinity with Ole e 3, whereas binding and affinity to the other allergens were low. mAb102.1F10 showed limited cross-inhibition of patients' IgE binding and basophil activation. Sequence comparison and surface exposure calculations identified three amino acids likely to be responsible for limited cross-reactivity. CONCLUSIONS:Our results demonstrate that a small number of amino acid differences among cross-reactive allergens can reduce the affinity of binding by a SIT-induced IgG and thus limit cross-protection.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Naturally occurring anti-idiotypic antibodies structurally mimic the original antibody epitope. Anti-idiotypes, therefore, are interesting tools for the portrayal of conformational B-cell epitopes of allergens. In this study we used this strategy particularly for major timothy grass pollen (Phleum pratense) allergen Phl p 1. METHODS AND RESULTS: We used a combinatorial phage display library constructed from the peripheral IgG repertoire of a grass pollen allergic patient which was supposed to contain anti-idiotypic Fab specificities. Using purified anti-Phl p 1 IgG for biopanning, several Fab displaying phage clones could be isolated. 100 amplified colonies were screened for their binding capacity to anti-Phl p 1-specific antibodies, finally resulting in four distinct Fab clones according to sequence analysis. Interestingly, heavy chains of all clones derived from the same germ line sequence and showed high homology in their CDRs. Projecting their sequence information on the surface of the natural allergen Phl p 1 (PDB ID: 1N10) indicated matches on the N-terminal domain of the homo-dimeric allergen, including the bridging region between the two monomers. The resulting epitope patches were formed by spatially distant sections of the primary allergen sequence. CONCLUSION: In this study we report that anti-idiotypic specificities towards anti-Phl p 1 IgG, selected from a Fab library of a grass pollen allergic patient, mimic a conformational epitope patch being distinct from a previously reported IgE epitope area.
Project description:More than 10% of the population in Europe and North America suffer from IgE-associated allergy to grass pollen. In this article, we describe the development of a vaccine for grass pollen allergen-specific immunotherapy based on two recombinant hypoallergenic mosaic molecules, designated P and Q, which were constructed out of elements derived from the four major timothy grass pollen allergens: Phl p 1, Phl p 2, Phl p 5, and Phl p 6. Seventeen recombinant mosaic molecules were expressed and purified in Escherichia coli using synthetic genes, characterized regarding biochemical properties, structural fold, and IgE reactivity. We found that depending on the arrangement of allergen fragments, mosaic molecules with strongly varying IgE reactivity were obtained. Based on an extensive screening with sera and basophils from allergic patients, two hypoallergenic mosaic molecules, P and Q, incorporating the primary sequence elements of the four grass pollen allergens were identified. As shown by lymphoproliferation experiments, they contained allergen-specific T cell epitopes required for tolerance induction, and upon immunization of animals induced higher allergen-specific IgG Abs than the wild-type allergens and a registered monophosphoryl lipid A-adjuvanted vaccine based on natural grass pollen allergen extract. Moreover, IgG Abs induced by immunization with P and Q inhibited the binding of patients' IgE to natural allergens from five grasses better than IgG induced with the wild-type allergens or an extract-based vaccine. Our results suggest that vaccines based on the hypoallergenic grass pollen mosaics can be used for immunotherapy of grass pollen allergy.
Project description:The cross-linking of effector cell-bound IgE antibodies by allergens induces the release of inflammatory mediators which are responsible for the symptoms of allergy. We demonstrate that a recombinant hybrid molecule consisting of the major birch (Bet v 1) and grass (Phl p 5) pollen allergen exhibited reduced allergenic activity as compared to equimolar mixes of the isolated allergens in basophil activation experiments. The reduced allergenic activity of the hybrid was not due to reduced IgE reactivity as demonstrated by IgE binding experiments using sera from allergic patients. Physicochemical characterization of the hybrid by size exclusion chromatography, dynamic light scattering, negative-stain electron microscopy and circular dichroism showed that the hybrid occurred as folded aggregate whereas the isolated allergens were folded monomeric proteins. IgG antibodies raised in rabbits against epitopes of Bet v 1 and Phl p 5 showed reduced reactivity with the hybrid compared to the monomeric allergens. Our results thus demonstrate that aggregation can induce changes in the conformation of allergens and lead to the reduction of allergenic activity. This is a new mechanism for reducing the allergenic activity of allergens which may be important for modifying allergens to exhibit reduced side effects when used for allergen-specific immunotherapy.
Project description:An allergic reaction is rapidly generated when allergens bind and cross-link IgE bound to its receptor Fc?RI on effector cells, resulting in cell degranulation and release of proinflammatory mediators. The extent of effector cell activation is linked to allergen affinity, oligomeric state, valency, and spacing of IgE-binding epitopes on the allergen. Whereas most of these observations come from studies using synthetic allergens, in this study we have used Timothy grass pollen allergen Phl p 7 and birch pollen allergen Bet v 4 to study these effects. Despite the high homology of these polcalcin family allergens, Phl p 7 and Bet v 4 display different binding characteristics toward two human patient-derived polcalcin-specific IgE Abs. We have used native polcalcin dimers and engineered multimeric allergens to test the effects of affinity and oligomeric state on IgE binding and effector cell activation. Our results indicate that polcalcin multimers are required to stimulate high levels of effector cell degranulation when using the humanized RBL-SX38 cell model and that multivalency can overcome the need for high-affinity interactions.