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Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 1992;98(2):97-104.

Profilin is a cross-reactive allergen in pollen and vegetable foods.

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Department of Allergy, Central Laboratory of The Netherlands Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service, Amsterdam.


Sera with IgE antibodies against grass pollen often contain IgE against vegetable foods. We investigated the role of the ubiquitous protein profilin in this cross-reactivity. Profilin was purified from Lolium perenne grass pollen by means of affinity purification with Sepharose-coupled poly(L-proline). This solid phase was also used as capturing agent for profilin from pollen and food extracts for application in a radioallergosorbent test. It was shown that profilin is an allergen in grass pollen and in a wide range of vegetable foods, like potato and celery. Within a grass-pollen-sensitive population, patients with IgE to vegetable foods have a high incidence of antibodies against profilin. IgE antibodies against grass pollen profilin were shown to be cross-reactive with respect to vegetable foods.

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