Cupressaceae Pollinosis: Identification, Purification and Cloning of Relevant AllergensDi Felice G. · Barletta B. · Tinghino R. · Pini C.
Department of Immunology, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy
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Allergy to Cupressaceae pollen is a worldwide pollinosis caused by several species. Pollen extracts prepared from allergenic species belonging to this family are characterised by low protein and high carbohydrate content. The allergenic components represented in the pollen extracts from different species of the Cupressaceae family show high levels of cross-reactivity when probed with human IgE from allergic subjects and share a number of common epitopes also identified by polyclonal rabbit antisera and monoclonal antibodies. A close relationship has also been described with the Taxodiaceae and Podocarpaceae families. Although both proteic and carbohydrate epitopes appear to be involved in IgE recognition and allergenic cross-reactivity, a large portion of the IgE reactivity of Cupressaceae-allergic patients seems to be associated with sugar moieties present on the relevant allergenic molecules. From this point of view, Cupressaceae/Taxodiaceae allergens constitute a particularly useful model to study IgE cross-reactivity, as they have been shown to display different levels of homology. Moreover, the availability of the purified allergens, together with their recombinant counterparts, may shed light on the actual role played by carbohydrate in allergic sensitisation, IgE recognition and allergenic cross-reactivity.
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