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FASEB J. 2001 Sep;15(11):2045-7. Epub 2001 Jul 24.

Genetic engineering of a hypoallergenic trimer of the major birch pollen allergen Bet v 1.

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  • 1Department of Pathophysiology, Vienna General Hospital, University of Vienna Medical School, Waeringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria


An estimated 100 million individuals suffer from birch pollen allergy. Specific immunotherapy, the only curative allergy treatment, can cause life-threatening anaphylactic side effects. Here, we report the genetic engineering of a recombinant trimer consisting of three covalently linked copies of the major birch pollen allergen, Bet v 1. The trimer exhibited profoundly reduced allergenic activity but contained similar secondary structures such as Bet v 1 wild type, Bet v 1-specific B cell and T-cell epitopes, and induced Th1 cytokine release. As immunogen, rBet v 1 trimer induced IgG antibodies, which blocked patients' IgE binding to Bet v 1 and related allergens. Thus, rBet v 1 trimer represents a novel hypoallergenic vaccine prototype for treatment of one of the most frequent allergy forms.

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