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Allergy. 2002;57 Suppl 71:6-16.

Allergenic diversity of the olive pollen.

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Departamento de Bioquímica and Biología Molecular Facultad de Ciencias Químicas Universidad Complutense 28040 Madrid, Spain.


A great number of allergenic proteins have been detected in olive pollen extracts. To date, nine allergens have been isolated and characterized, which have been called Ole e 1 to Ole e 9. The most prevalent olive allergen is Ole e 1, which affects more than 70% of patients hypersensitive to olive pollen, but others, such as Ole e 2, Ole e 8, and Ole e 9, have been demonstrated to be major allergens, and Ole e 6 or Ole e 7 reach high values of clinical incidence. Many of these allergens, such as Ole e 2 (profilin) and Ole e 3 (polcalcin), are involved in cross-reactivities, which agrees with their adscription to panallergenic families. Among the many olive allergens of high molecular mass, only Ole e 9 (46 kDa) has been characterized. The allergen is a polymorphic and glycosylated beta-1,3-glucanase, which belongs to a pathogenesis-related (PR-2) protein family. In addition to the polypeptide epitopes, Ole e 1 also exhibits IgE-binding determinants in the carbohydrate, which are recognized by more than 60% of the sera from patients sensitive to the whole allergen, although the level of such glycan-specific IgE seems not to be clinically relevant in the overall content of the sera. Recent advances in the elucidation of the structure of the Ole e 1-oligosaccharide component allows us to explain the antigenicity of the molecule. Finally, the recombinant production of several allergens from olive pollen in both bacterial and eukaryotic cells has allowed us to resolve problems derived from the polymorphism and scarcity of the natural forms of these allergens. The biological equivalence between the natural and recombinant forms lets us initiate studies on the design of mixtures for clinical purposes, in which hypoallergenic derivatives of these allergens could play a definitive role.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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