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J Immunol. 1999 Apr 1;162(7):4342-8.

Molecular characterization of American cockroach tropomyosin (Periplaneta americana allergen 7), a cross-reactive allergen.

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  • 1Bial-Arístegui, Research and Development Department, Bilbao, Spain.


Inhalation of allergens produced by the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana) induces IgE Ab production and the development of asthma in genetically predisposed individuals. The cloning and expression in Escherichia coli of P. americana tropomyosin allergen have been achieved. The protein shares high homology with other arthropod tropomyosins (80% identity) but less homology with vertebrate ones (50% identity). The recombinant allergen was produced in E. coli as a nonfusion protein with a yield of 9 mg/l of bacterial culture. Both natural and recombinant tropomyosins were purified by isoelectric precipitation. P. americana allergen 1 (Per a 1) and Per a 7 (tropomyosin) are to date the only cross-reacting allergens found in cockroaches. ELISA and Western blot inhibition experiments, using natural and recombinant purified tropomyosins from shrimp and cockroach, showed that tropomyosin induced cross-reactivity of IgE from patients allergic to these allergens, suggesting that this molecule could be a common allergen among invertebrates.

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