ABSTRACT: Allergic disease diagnosis is currently experiencing a breakthrough due to the use of allergenic molecules in serum-based assays rather than allergen extracts in skin tests. The former methodology is considered a very innovative technology compared with the latter, since it is characterized by flexibility and adaptability to the patient's clinical history and to microtechnology, allowing multiplex analysis. Molecular-based analysis requires pure allergens to detect IgE sensitization, and a major goal, to maintain the diagnosis cost-effective, is to limit their production costs. In addition, for the production of recombinant eukaryotic proteins similar to natural ones, plant-based protein production is preferred to bacterial-based systems due to its ability to perform most of the post-translational modifications of eukaryotic molecules. In this framework, Plant Molecular Farming (PMF) may be useful, being a production platform able to produce complex recombinant proteins in short time-frames at low cost. As a proof of concept, PMF has been exploited for the production of Bet v 1a, a major allergen associated with birch (Betula verrucosa) pollen allergy. Bet v 1a has been produced using two different transient expression systems in Nicotiana benthamiana plants, purified and used in a new generation multiplex allergy diagnosis system, the patient-Friendly Allergen nano-BEad Array (FABER). Plant-made Bet v 1a is immunoreactive, binding IgE and inhibiting IgE-binding to the Escherichia coli expressed allergen currently available in the FABER test, thus suggesting an overall similar though non-overlapping immune activity compared with the E. coli expressed form.
Project description:Birch pollen-associated plant food allergy is caused by Bet v 1-specific IgE, but presence of cross-reactive IgE to related allergens does not predict food allergy. The role of other immunoglobulin isotypes in the birch pollen-plant food syndrome has not been investigated in detail.Bet v 1-sensitized birch pollen-allergic patients (n = 35) were diagnosed for food allergy by standardized interviews, skin prick tests, prick-to-prick tests and ImmunoCAP. Concentrations of allergen-specific IgE, IgG1, IgG4 and IgA to seven Bet v 1-related food allergens were determined by ELISA.Bet v 1, Cor a 1, Mal d 1 and Pru p 1 bound IgE from all and IgG4 and IgA from the majority of sera. Immunoglobulins to Gly m 4, Vig r 1 and Api g 1.01 were detected in <65% of the sera. No significant correlation was observed between plant food allergy and increased or reduced levels of IgE, IgG1, IgG4 or IgA specific to most Bet v 1-related allergens. Api g 1-specific IgE was significantly (P = 0.01) elevated in celeriac-allergic compared with celeriac-tolerant patients. Likewise, frequencies of IgE (71% vs 15%; P = 0.01) and IgA (86% vs 38%; P = 0.04) binding to Api g 1.01 were increased.Measurements of allergen-specific immunoglobulins are not suitable for diagnosing Bet v 1-mediated plant food allergy to hazelnut and Rosaceae fruits. In contrast, IgE and IgA to the distantly related allergen Api g 1 correlate with allergy to celeriac.
Project description:Type I allergy is an immunological disorder triggered by allergens and causes significant health problems. The major allergen of birch pollen is Bet v 1, which belongs to the pathogen-related protein 10 (PR-10) family. Here, we established a rapid and robust method for the production of Bet v 1 in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves, with binding activity to allergic patients' IgE. The Bet v 1 allergen was expressed in N. benthamiana using a strong agroinfiltration-based transient protein expression system, which consists of a deconstructed geminiviral vector system with a double terminator. Five days post-infiltration, the allergen concentration in N. benthamiana leaves was 1.2 mg/g of fresh mass, being this the maximum yield of Bet v 1 in plants reported up to now. A part of plant-derived Bet v 1 was glycosylated. Bet v 1 purified from N. benthamiana or Brevibacillus brevis was used to carry out enzyme-linked immunoassays; both recombinant allergens were found to have comparable binding properties to the IgE of allergic patients. These results suggest that our plant expression system allows rapid and robust production of the allergen, which keeps the immunogenicity.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Administration of the therapeutic anti-IgE antibody omalizumab to patients induces strong increases in IgE antibody levels. OBJECTIVE:To investigate the effect of intranasal administration of major birch pollen allergen Bet v 1, omalizumab or placebo on the levels of total and allergen-specific IgE in patients with birch pollen allergy. METHODS:Based on the fact that intranasal allergen application induces rises of systemic allergen-specific IgE, we performed a double-blind placebo-controlled pilot trial in which birch pollen allergic subjects were challenged intranasally with omalizumab, placebo or birch pollen allergen Bet v 1. Total and allergen-specific IgE, IgG and basophil sensitivity were measured before and 8 weeks after challenge. For control purposes, total, allergen-specific IgE levels and omalizumab-IgE complexes as well as specific IgG levels were studied in subjects treated subcutaneously with either omalizumab or placebo. Effects of omalizumab on IgE production by IL-4/anti-CD40-treated PBMCs from allergic patients were studied in vitro. RESULTS:Intranasal challenge with Bet v 1 induced increases in Bet v 1-specific IgE levels by a median of 59.2%, and this change differed significantly from the other treatment groups (P = .016). No relevant change in allergen-specific and total IgE levels was observed in subjects challenged with omalizumab. Addition of omalizumab did not enhance IL-4/anti-CD40-induced IgE production in vitro. Significant rises in total IgE (mean IgE before: 131.83 kU/L to mean IgE after: 505.23 kU/L) and the presence of IgE-omalizumab complexes were observed after subcutaneous administration of omalizumab. CONCLUSION:Intranasal administration of allergen induced rises of allergen-specific IgE levels, whereas intranasal administration of omalizumab did not enhance systemic total or allergen-specific IgE levels.
Project description:Previously, defined naturally occurring isoforms of allergenic proteins were classified as hypoallergens and therefore suggested as an agent for immunotherapy in the future. In this paper, we report for the first time the molecular background of hypoallergenicity by comparing the immunological behavior of hyperallergenic Betula verrucosa major Ag 1a (Bet v 1a) and hypoallergenic Bet v 1d, two isoforms of the major birch pollen allergen Betula verrucosa 1. Despite their cross-reactivity, Bet v 1a and Bet v 1d differ in their capacity to induce protective Ab responses in BALB/c mice. Both isoforms induced similar specific IgE levels, but only Bet v 1d expressed relevant titers of serum IgGs and IgAs. Interestingly, hypoallergenic Bet v 1d activated dendritic cells more efficiently, followed by the production of increased amounts of Th1- as well as Th2-type cytokines. Surprisingly, compared with Bet v 1a, Bet v 1d-immunized mice showed a decreased proliferation of regulatory T cells. Crystallographic studies and dynamic light scattering revealed that Bet v 1d demonstrated a high tendency to form disulfide-linked aggregates due to a serine to cysteine exchange at residue 113. We conclude that aggregation of Bet v 1d triggers the establishment of a protective Ab titer and supports a rationale for Bet v 1d being a promising candidate for specific immunotherapy of birch pollen allergy.
Project description:Recombinant Bet v 1a (rBet v 1a) has been used in allergy research for more than three decades, including clinical application of so-called hypoallergens. Quantitative IgE binding to rBet v 1a depends on its native protein conformation, which might be compromised upon heterologous expression, purification, or mutational engineering of rBet v 1a.To correlate experimental/theoretical comparisons of IgE binding of defined molar ratios of folded/misfolded recombinant Bet v 1a variants and to determine accuracy and precision of immuno- and physicochemical assays routinely used to assess the quality of recombinant allergen preparations.rBet v 1a and its misfolded variant rBet v 1aS112P/R145P were heterologously expressed and purified from Escherichia coli. Structural integrities and oligomerisation of the recombinant allergens were evaluated by 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR), circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy, and dynamic light scattering (DLS). IgE binding of defined combinations of rBet v 1a and rBet v 1aS112P/R145P was assessed using immunoblotting (IB), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and mediator release (MR) of humanized rat basophilic leukemia cells sensitized with serum IgE of subjects allergic to birch pollen. Experimental and theoretically expected results of the analyses were compared.1H-NMR spectra of rBet v 1a and rBet v 1aS112P/R145P demonstrate a native and highly disordered protein conformations, respectively. The CD spectra suggested typical alpha-helical and beta-sheet secondary structure content of rBet v 1a and random coil for rBet v 1aS112P/R145P. The hydrodynamic radii (RH) of 2.49 ± 0.39 nm (rBet v 1a) and 3.1 ± 0.56 nm (rBet v 1aS112P/R145P) showed monomeric dispersion of both allergens in solution. Serum IgE of birch pollen allergic subjects bound to 0.1% rBet v 1a in the presence of 99.9% of non-IgE binding rBet v 1aS112P/R145P. Immunoblot analysis overestimated, whereas ELISA and mediator release assay underestimated the actual quantity of IgE-reactive rBet v 1a in mixtures of rBet v 1a/rBet v 1aS112P/R145P with a molar ratio of rBet v 1a ? 10%.Valid conclusions on quantitative IgE binding of recombinant Bet v 1a preparations depend on the accuracy and precision of physico- and immunochemical assays with which natively folded allergen is detected.
Project description:More than 25% of the population suffer from Type I allergy, an IgE-mediated hypersensitivity disease. Allergens with homology to the major birch ( Betula verrucosa ) pollen allergen, Bet v 1, belong to the most potent elicitors of IgE-mediated allergies. T1, a cytokinin-inducible cytoplasmic periwinkle ( Catharanthus roseus ) protein, with significant sequence similarity to members of the Bet v 1 plant allergen family, was expressed in Escherichia coli. Recombinant T1 (rT1) did not react with IgE antibodies from allergic patients, and failed to induce basophil histamine release and immediate-type skin reactions in Bet v 1-allergic patients. Antibodies raised against purified rT1 could be used for in situ localization of natural T1 by immunogold electron microscopy, but did not cross-react with most of the Bet v 1-related allergens. CD analysis showed significant differences regarding secondary structure and thermal denaturation behaviour between rT1 and recombinant Bet v 1, suggesting that these structural differences are responsible for the different allergenicity of the proteins. T1 represents a non-allergenic member of the Bet v 1 family that may be used to study structural requirements of allergenicity and to engineer hypo-allergenic plants by replacing Bet v 1-related allergens for primary prevention of allergy.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Allergen exposure via the respiratory tract and in particular via the nasal mucosa boosts systemic allergen-specific IgE production. Intranasal corticosteroids (INCS) represent a first line treatment of allergic rhinitis but their effects on this boost of allergen-specific IgE production are unclear. AIM:Here we aimed to determine in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study whether therapeutic doses of an INCS preparation, i.e., nasal fluticasone propionate, have effects on boosts of allergen-specific IgE following nasal allergen exposure. METHODS:Subjects (n = 48) suffering from grass and birch pollen allergy were treated with daily fluticasone propionate or placebo nasal spray for four weeks. After two weeks of treatment, subjects underwent nasal provocation with either birch pollen allergen Bet v 1 or grass pollen allergen Phl p 5. Bet v 1 and Phl p 5-specific IgE, IgG1-4, IgM and IgA levels were measured in serum samples obtained at the time of provocation and one, two, four, six and eight weeks thereafter. RESULTS:Nasal allergen provocation induced a median increase to 141.1% of serum IgE levels to allergens used for provocation but not to control allergens 4 weeks after provocation. There were no significant differences regarding the boosts of allergen-specific IgE between INCS- and placebo-treated subjects. CONCLUSION:In conclusion, the application of fluticasone propionate had no significant effects on the boosts of systemic allergen-specific IgE production following nasal allergen exposure. TRIAL REGISTRATION:http://clinicaltrials.gov/NCT00755066.
Project description:Birch pollen associated allergy to mung bean sprouts is caused by cross-reactivity between the birch pollen allergen Bet v 1 and the mung bean allergen Vig r 1. We aimed to determine the allergenicity of the cytokinin-specific binding protein from mung bean (Vig r 6), another allergen related to Bet v 1 with only 31% sequence identity.Bet v 1, Gly m 4, Vig r 1, and Vig r 6 were produced in Escherichia coli. In an ELISA, 73 and 32% of Bet v 1-sensitized birch-allergic patients' sera (n = 60) showed IgE binding to Vig r 1 and Vig r 6, respectively. Of 19 patients who reported allergic reactions or had positive prick-to-prick tests to mung bean sprouts, 79% showed IgE binding to Vig r 1 and 63% showed IgE binding to Vig r 6. Bet v 1 completely inhibited IgE binding to both mung bean allergens. Vig r 6 showed partial cross-reactivity with Vig r 1 and activated basophils sensitized with mung bean allergic patients' sera.We demonstrated IgE cross-reactivity despite low sequence identity between Vig r 6 and other Bet v 1-related allergens. Thus, IgE binding to Vig r 6 may contribute to birch pollinosis-associated mung bean sprout allergy.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Because of a high risk to develop fatal anaphylaxis, early detection of immunoglobulin E (IgE)-dependent allergy is of particular importance in patients with mastocytosis. OBJECTIVE:We examined whether microarray-based screening for allergen-reactive IgE (allergen-chip) is a sensitive and robust approach to detect specific IgE in patients with mastocytosis. METHODS:Sera for 42 patients were analyzed, including 4 with cutaneous mastocytosis, 2 with mastocytosis in the skin, and 36 with systemic mastocytosis. In addition, sera from an age- and sex-matched control cohort (n = 42) were analyzed. RESULTS:In 15 of 42 patients with mastocytosis (35.7%), specific IgE was detected by allergen-chip profiling. Ves v 5 and Bet v 1 were the most frequently detected allergens (Ves v 5: 16.7% of patients; Bet v 1: 11.9% of patients). Allergen reactivity was confirmed by demonstrating upregulation of CD203c on blood basophils upon exposure to the respective allergen(s) in these patients. Specific IgE was identified by chip studies in 11 of 26 patients with mastocytosis with mediator-related symptoms (42.3%) and in 4 of 14 patients with mastocytosis without symptoms (28.6%). In the cohort with known allergy, 9 of 9 patients (100%) had a positive allergen-chip result. In patients with mastocytosis without a known allergy (n = 31), the chip identified 6 positive cases (19.5%). The prevalence of chip-positive patients was slightly lower in the mastocytosis group (35.7%) compared with age- and sex-matched controls (40.5%). CONCLUSIONS:Although specific IgE may not be detectable in all sensitized patients with mastocytosis, allergy chip-profiling is a reliable screening approach for the identification of patients with mastocytosis suffering from IgE-dependent allergies.
Project description:Birch pollen allergy is among the most prevalent pollen allergies in Northern and Central Europe. This IgE-mediated disease can be treated with allergen immunotherapy (AIT), which typically gives rise to IgG antibodies inducing tolerance. Although the main mechanisms of allergen immunotherapy (AIT) are known, questions regarding possible Fc-mediated effects of IgG antibodies remain unanswered. This can mainly be attributed to the unavailability of appropriate tools, i.e., well-characterised recombinant antibodies (rAbs). We hereby aimed at providing human rAbs of several classes for mechanistic studies and as possible candidates for passive immunotherapy. We engineered IgE, IgG1, and IgG4 sharing the same variable region against the major birch pollen allergen Bet v 1 using Polymerase Incomplete Primer Extension (PIPE) cloning. We tested IgE functionality and IgG blocking capabilities using appropriate model cell lines. In vitro studies showed IgE engagement with Fc?RI and CD23 and Bet v 1-dependent degranulation. Overall, we hereby present fully functional, human IgE, IgG1, and IgG4 sharing the same variable region against Bet v 1 and showcase possible applications in first mechanistic studies. Furthermore, our IgG antibodies might be useful candidates for passive immunotherapy of birch pollen allergy.