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J Biol Chem. 1991 Jan 15;266(2):1229-36.

Cloning of Amb a I (antigen E), the major allergen family of short ragweed pollen.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill 27599.


To determine the structure of Amb a I (previously called antigen E), the major allergen from short ragweed, cDNA from pollen was cloned into lambda gt11 and lambda gt10. One of the three distinct clones isolated from the lambda gt11 library by screening with anti-denatured Amb a I antibodies was used to screen both libraries for other Amb a I sequences. Multiple clones were isolated and sequenced and proved to be highly homologous but nonidentical. The clones could be divided into three groups based on sequence similarity, and in accordance with the International Union of Immunological Societies-approved nomenclature (Marsh, D. G., Goodfriend, L., King, T. P., Lowenstein, H., and Platts-Mills, T. A. E. (1986) Bull. WHO 64, 767-770) they have been designated Amb a I.1, Amb a I.2, and Amb a I.3. Clones within a group have greater than 99% identity, and similarity among groups is 85-90% at the nucleotide level. The amino acid sequence of four peptides (isolated from antigen E obtained from the Research Resources Branch of the National Institutes of Health) containing 132 amino acids was identical to one of the clones (Amb a I.1). The presence of multiple naturally occurring isoelectric forms of Amb a I was demonstrated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and Western blotting. Southern blot analysis demonstrates the presence of multiple Amb a I-related sequences in the ragweed genome. Amb a I is therefore not a single molecule but rather a family of closely related proteins.

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