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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1991 Feb;87(2):511-21.

Identification, quantitation, and purification of cockroach allergens using monoclonal antibodies.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville 22908.


A panel of murine IgG monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) was raised against German cockroach (CR) (Blattella germanica) extract and selectively screened to identify MAb directed against allergen(s) recognized by IgE antibodies. Sera from 28 CR-allergic patients were used as sources of IgE antibodies to detect allergens "presented" by the MAb. Four clones (10A6, 3G12, 8F4, and 1D4) produced MAb to allergen(s) that bound IgE antibodies. Quantitative radioimmunoassays were used to compare levels of the MAb-defined allergens in CR extracts. MAb 10A6 reacted with a cross-reacting allergen that was detected in 9/14 CR species, including Blattella, Periplaneta, Blatta, Leucophea, and Supella spp, at concentrations of 100 to 10,000 U/ml. In contrast, MAb 3G12, 8F4, and 1D4 were Blattella specific. The allergen defined by MAb 8F4 was purified by MAb affinity chromatography and size-exclusion by high-performance liquid chromatography. It is a 36 kd heat-sensitive protein, isoelectric point, 5.2 to 5.4. Allergen 10A6 was partially purified by isoelectric focusing and high-performance liquid chromatography. It is a heat-stable, acidic protein (isoelectric point 3.15). Based on comparison of their properties with properties of previously described CR allergens, the allergens defined by MAb 10A6 and 8F4 have been provisionally designated Blattella germanica allergen I (Bla g I) and Blattella germanica allergen II (Bla g II), respectively. Assays of six commercial CR skin test extracts demonstrated a 200-fold difference in Bla g I levels (4.7 to 1085 U/ml) and only two extracts that contained detectable Bla g II (248 and 324 U/ml). The results demonstrate that MAb can be used to identify and define CR allergens and that the strategy of the use of MAb as a first step in allergen analysis and purification can be very effective, especially for poorly characterized allergen extracts.

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