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Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2012 Oct;67(10):1171-9.

In search of a tolerance-induction strategy for cow's milk allergies: significant reduction of beta-lactoglobulin allergenicity via transglutaminase/cysteine polymerization.

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  • 1Laboratory of Immunology and Experimental Allergy, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Campinas, Campinas/SP, Brazil.



To explore the use of β-lactoglobulin polymerized using microbial transglutaminase and heating to identify whether protein polymerization could reduce in vivo allergenicity and maintain in vitro and ex vivo immunoreactivity for use in tolerance-induction protocols.


Based on previous protocols applied in mice and children, we performed in vivo challenges (using a skin prick test) with native and polymerized β-lactoglobulin in adult patients with an IgE-mediated allergy to plactoglobulin. In vitro humoral immunoreactivity was analyzed using immunoblotting. Cell-mediated immunoreactivity was analyzed using ex vivo challenges with native and polymerized β-lactoglobulin and monitored by leukocyte adherence inhibition tests.


The skin tests demonstrated that there was a significant reduction in immediate cutaneous reactivity after polymerization. Polymerization did not decrease the immunoblotting detection of s-IgE specific to β-lactoglobulin. Cell-mediated immunoreactivity, as assessed by ex vivo challenges and leukocyte adherence inhibition tests, did not exhibit significant differences between leukocytes challenged with native versus polymerized β-lactoglobulin.


The polymerization of β-lactoglobulin decreased in vivo allergenicity and did not decrease in vitro humoral or ex vivo cell-mediated immunoreactivity. Therefore, we conclude that inducing polymerization using transglutaminase represents a promising technique to produce suitable molecules for the purpose of designing oral/ sublingual tolerance induction protocols for the treatment of allergies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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