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Eur J Biochem. 1998 Apr 1;253(1):202-11.

Separation of horse dander allergen proteins by two-dimensional electrophoresis--molecular characterisation and identification of Equ c 2.0101 and Equ c 2.0102 as lipocalin proteins.

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  • 1Institute of Pharmacy, University of Oslo, Norway. bulone@cermav.cnrs.fr


The aim of this work was to identify which proteins in horse dander extracts are allergens and to characterise them. Two-dimensional PAGE showed that horse dander preparations are composed of up to 50 proteins, all having acidic isoelectric points in the pH range 3-4.5. Immunoblots of two-dimensional PAGE were used to compare the reactivity of the proteins with IgE from 23 allergic patients. Patient sera were divided into two main groups recognising either allergens of 18.5 kDa or proteins of 27-29 and 31 kDa. The proteins of 27-29 kDa and 31 kDa were all N-glycosylated and their glycan chains seem to play a role in the binding of IgE from allergic patients. The sugar composition of their carbohydrate moiety was determined and lectin-binding experiments indicated presence of terminal sialic acid linked alpha-(2-->6) to galactose, galactose linked beta-(1-->4) to N-acetylglucosamine, and possibly presence of sialic acid linked alpha-(2-->3) to galactose. The 27-29-kDa glycoproteins had heterogeneous isoelectric points, most probably due to different degrees of sialylation in their oligosaccharide chains. The two 18.5-kDa allergens exhibited slightly different isoelectric points and their N-terminal sequences were identical, showing that they most likely were isoforms of the same protein. Sequence analyses revealed that their N-terminal sequences are similar to proteins belonging to the lipocalin family. We named the two 18.5-kDa proteins Equ c 2.0101 and Equ c 2.0102, according to International Allergen Nomenclature recommendations [King, T. P., Hoffman, D., Lowenstein, H., Marsh, D. G., Platts-Mills, T. A. E. & Thomas, W. (1995) J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 96, 5-14]. The N-terminal of the allergens of 27-29 kDa were blocked and their sequences were not determined. Their amino acid compositions were determined and comparison with acidic mammalian proteins in the Swiss-Prot database revealed high scores with lipocalin proteins. This suggests that the glycosylated horse dander allergens belong to the lipocalin family, like Equ c 2.0101 and Equ c 2.0102.

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