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J Invest Dermatol. 1998 Dec;111(6):1178-83.

Molecular characterization of an autoallergen, Hom s 1, identified by serum IgE from atopic dermatitis patients.

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  • 1Institute of General and Experimental Pathology, Vienna General Hospital, University of Vienna Medical School, Austria.


Atopy is a genetically determined disorder that affects 10%-20% of the population. Many symptoms of patients with atopy (allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis, asthma, and anaphylaxis) result from events occurring after crosslinking of cell-bound IgE by per se innocuous environmental antigens. The frequently raised hypothesis that autosensitization can also be a pathogenetic factor in atopy, gained support by our recent demonstration of IgE antibodies against human proteins in atopic dermatitis patients. To unravel the molecular nature of IgE-defined autoantigens, we used serum IgE from atopic dermatitis patients to screen a human epithelial cDNA expression library. One of the cDNA-encoding IgE-reactive products contained 1501 bp of a 2274 bp open-reading frame finally identified by sequence analysis of two additional cDNA clones resulting from oligonucleotide screening. The IgE-defined autoantigen, designated Hom s 1, exhibited an almost complete sequence identity with a recently described antigen recognized by cytotoxic T cells of a squamous cell carcinoma patient. Purified recombinant Hom s 1 specifically bound IgE from patients with severe atopy. When used as immunogen in rabbits, recombinant Hom s 1 gave rise to an anti-serum that reacted with a cytoplasmic protein exhibiting a broad cellular and tissue reactivity (skin, lung >> gastrointestinal tract >> muscle, brain) and identified a 55 kDa protein in blotted serum IgE preparations. The attractive possibility remains that the Hom s 1-triggered IgE response contributes to the events resulting in allergic tissue inflammation. If so, the respective recombinant molecule may serve as a paradigmatic tool for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with "intrinsic" atopy.

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