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Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 1998 Nov;117(3):160-6.

Calcium-binding allergens: from plants to man.

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  • 1Department of General and Experimental Pathology, University of Vienna,Austria.


Calcium-binding proteins contain a variable number of motifs, termed EF-hands, which consist of two perpendicularly placed alpha-helics and an inter-helical loop forming a single calcium-binding site. Due to their ability to bind and transport calcium as well as to interact with a variety of ligands in a calcium-dependent manner, they fulfill important biological functions in eukaryotic cells. After parvalbumin, a three EF-hand fish allergen, calcium-binding allergens were discovered in pollens of trees. grasses and weeds and, recently, as autoallergens in man. Although only a small percentage of atopic individuals displays IgE reactivity to calcium-binding allergens, these allergens may be important because of their ability to cross-sensitize allergic individuals. Confrontation and stability++ as well as IgE recognition of calcium-binding allergens greatly depend on the presence of protein-bound calcium ions. It is thus likely that hypoallergenic derivatives of calcium-binding allergens can be engineered by recombinant DNA technology for immunotherapy++ of sensitized patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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