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Implications of the Grass Group I Allergens on the Sensitization and Provocation Process

Petersen A.a · Grobe K.a · Schramm G.a · Vieths S.b · Altmann F.c · Schlaak M.a · Becker W.-M.a
aForschungszentrum Borstel, Biochemische und Molekulare Allergologie, Borstel, bPaul–Ehrlich–Institut, Langen, Deutschland; cInstitut für Chemie, Universität für Bodenkultur, Wien, Österreich Int Arch Allergy Immunol 1999;118:411–413 (DOI:10.1159/000024150)


Grass pollen allergens of group I are particularly important because of their high IgE prevalence and occurrence in all grass species. Four independent IgE–binding regions and one continous epitope were identified. The posttranslational modifications on the molecule increased allergenicity. Phl p 1 is a cysteine protease, as determined by specific substrates, inhibitors and consensus sequence motifs. In analogy to other allergens and/or proteases, we deduce that Phl p 1 might enhance the permeability of the epithelium, influence T helper cells to bias Th2, and increase the IgE production of plasma cells. Thus, the group I allergens seem to be the crucial components in a pollen extract which can mediate sensitization and enhance the triggering of symptoms leading to the persistence of a grass pollen allergy.


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