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Vol. 144, No. 1, 2007
Issue release date: August 2007
Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2007;144:10–22
(DOI:10.1159/000102609)

Wheat IgE-Mediated Food Allergy in European Patients: α-Amylase Inhibitors, Lipid Transfer Proteins and Low-Molecular-Weight Glutenins

Allergenic Molecules Recognized by Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Food Challenge

Pastorello E.A. · Farioli L. · Conti A. · Pravettoni V. · Bonomi S. · Iametti S. · Fortunato D. · Scibilia J. · Bindslev-Jensen C. · Ballmer-Weber B. · Robino A.M. · Ortolani C.
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Abstract

Background: Three main problems hamper the identification of wheat food allergens: (1) lack of a standardized procedure for extracting all of the wheat protein fractions; (2) absence of double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge studies that compare the allergenic profile of Osborne’s three protein fractions in subjects with real wheat allergy, and (3) lack of data on the differences in IgE-binding capacity between raw and cooked wheat. Methods: Sera of 16 wheat-challenge-positive patients and 6 patients with wheat anaphylaxis, recruited from Italy, Denmark and Switzerland, were used for sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis/immunoblotting of the three Osborne’s protein fractions (albumin/globulin, gliadins and glutenins) of raw and cooked wheat. Thermal sensitivity of wheat lipid transfer protein (LTP) was investigated by spectroscopic approaches. IgE cross-reactivity between wheat and grass pollen was studied by blot inhibition. Results: The most important wheat allergens were the α-amylase/trypsin inhibitor subunits, which were present in all three protein fractions of raw and cooked wheat. Other important allergens were a 9-kDa LTP in the albumin/globulin fraction and several low-molecular-weight (LMW) glutenin subunits in the gluten fraction. All these allergens showed heat resistance and lack of cross-reactivity to grass pollen allergens. LTP was a major allergen only in Italian patients. Conclusions: The α-amylase inhibitor was confirmed to be the most important wheat allergen in food allergy and to play a role in wheat-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis, too. Other important allergens were LTP and the LMW glutenin subunits.



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