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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2000 Apr;105(4):827-33.

Complementary DNA cloning and immunologic characterization of a new Penicillium citrinum allergen (Pen c 3).

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Department of Medical Research, Veterans General Hospital-Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.



Penicillium citrinum has been identified as the most prevalent airborne Penicillium species in the Taipei area. It is important to understand the allergenic composition of this ubiquitous fungal species.


The complementary DNA (cDNA) clone of an allergen from P citrinum was isolated and expressed in Escherichia coli as a fusion protein. mAbs were prepared with the recombinant protein as antigen. The corresponding natural allergen in the fungal extracts was identified with the mAbs.


A Uni-Zap XR P citrinum cDNA library was screened with sera from asthmatic patients. An IgE-binding cDNA clone was isolated and expressed as a glutathione-S-transferase fusion protein. The frequency of IgE binding to the expressed protein was analyzed by immunoblotting. Spleen cells from BALB/c mice immunized with the recombinant protein were fused with NS-1 cells for mAb generation.


A P citrinum cDNA library was screened with a mixture of serum samples from 4 asthmatic patients. An IgE-binding cDNA clone was obtained and designated as PCE2. PCE2 has a 694-bp insert that contains a 167 amino acids open reading frame. The deduced amino acid sequence of the encoded protein has 82.6% (138 amino acids) identity with an Aspergillus fumigatus peroxisomal membrane protein allergen (Asp f 3). PCE2 was expressed in E coli as a fusion protein and designated as Pen c 3. Sera from 13 (46%) of the 28 Penicillium-sensitized asthmatic patients demonstrated IgE binding to Pen c 3. In addition, 11 of the 13 Pen c 3-positive serum samples have IgE immunoblot reactivity to recombinant Asp f 3. The presence of IgE cross-reactivity between Pen c 3 and Asp f 3 was also detected by immunoblot inhibition. Four of the 6 mAbs generated against Pen c 3 cross-react with Asp f 3. The presence of the corresponding 18-k natural allergens in the crude extracts of P citrinum and A fumigatus were detected by immunoblot with use of the mAbs and sera from asthmatic patients.


Results obtained suggest that the peroxisomal membrane protein (Pen c 3) is an important allergen of P citrinum. PCE2 is a full-length cDNA clone encoding this allergen. In addition, the mAbs generated may be useful in standardizing the diagnostic allergenic extracts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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