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Mol Immunol. 2003 Dec;40(8):555-62.

Major linear IgE epitopes of mountain cedar pollen allergen Jun a 1 map to the pectate lyase catalytic site.

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Department of Pediatrics, Child Health Research Center, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Blvd. Galveston, Galveston, TX 77555-0366, USA.


Resolution of the 3D structures and IgE epitopes of allergens may identify common or conserved features of allergens. Jun a 1, the predominant allergen in mountain cedar pollen, was chosen as a model for identifying common structural and functional features among a group of plant allergens. In this study, synthetic, overlapping peptides of Jun a 1 and sera from patients allergic to mountain cedar pollen were used to identify linear epitopes. A 3D model of Jun a 1 was produced using the Bacillus subtiles pectate lyase (PL) as a template and validated with biophysical measurements. This allowed mappings of four IgE binding sites on Jun a 1. Two of the epitopes mapped to turns or loops on the surface of the model structure. The other two epitopes mapped to the beta-sheet region, homologous to the catalytic site of PL. This region of Jun a 1 is highly conserved in the group 1 allergens from other cedar trees as well as microbial PLs. The finding that two out of three major IgE epitopes map to highly conserved catalytic regions of group 1 cedar allergens may help to explain the high degree of cross-reactivity between cedar pollen allergens and might represent a pattern of reactivity common to other allergens with catalytic activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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