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Eur J Biochem. 1999 Apr;261(1):148-54.

Two-dimensional electrophoresis of Malassezia allergens for atopic dermatitis and isolation of Mal f 4 homologs with mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase.

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1
Biotechnology Research Laboratories, Takara Shuzo Co. Ltd, Shiga, Japan.

Abstract

The yeast Malassezia furfur is a natural inhabitant of the human skin microflora that induces an allergic reaction in atopic dermatitis. To identify allergens of M. furfur, we separated a crude preparation of M. furfur antigens as discrete spots by 2-D PAGE and detected IgE-binding proteins using sera of atopic dermatitis patients. We identified the known allergens, Mal f 2 and Mal f 3, and determined N-terminal amino acid sequences of six new IgE-binding proteins including Mal f 4. The cDNA and genomic DNA encoding Mal f 4 were cloned and sequenced. The gene was mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase and encoded Mal f 4 composed of 315 amino acids and a signal sequence of 27 amino acids. We purified Mal f 4, which had a molecular mass of 35 kDa from a membrane fraction of a lysate of cultured cells. Thirty of 36 M. furfur-allergic atopic dermatitis patients (83.3%) had elevated serum levels of IgE to purified Mal f 4, indicating that Mal f 4 is a major allergen. There was a significant correlation of the Phadebas RAST unit values of Mal f 4 and the crude antigen, but not between Mal f 4 and the known allergen Mal f 2.

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