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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1985 May;75(5):599-605.

Allergens in Hymenoptera venom XIII: Isolation and purification of protein components from three species of vespid venoms.


Pure venoms were collected from individual insects of the species Dolichovespula maculata, white-faced hornet, Vespula squamosa, southern yellow jacket, and Polistes exclamans, paper wasp (one species). The venoms were first fractionated by high-resolution gel filtration on a 1.6 m column of Sephadex G-75 superfine, and the components were then purified by high-performance, ion-exchange chromatography on a Mono-S cation exchange column followed by a further gel filtration step. The isolated components were evaluated for purity by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis by use of two different types of silver stains, by assays for enzyme activities, and by immunodiffusion with the use of rabbit antisera. The protein components were isolated in highly purified states by these techniques. Only three significant proteins were found in V. squamous venom: phospholipase (PL) A and B, hyaluronidase (HYAL), and antigen 5 (Ag 5). D. maculata venom contained HYAL, Ag 5, two isozymes of PL A and B, a high-molecular-weight protein, and several trace proteins. No significant amounts of proteases were found in D. maculata venom. P. exclamans venom contained HYAL, PL A and B, Ag 5, a high-molecular-weight protein, and several minor proteins. In all three venoms the PL A and B activities were found to be in the same molecule and did not separate. Trace components with apparent PL A activity were observed in the venoms. The venoms were screened for a variety of esterases, proteases, peptidases, glucosidases, and phosphatases, and none were detected in more than trace amounts. Vespid venoms do not appear to contain significant amounts of acid phosphatases as bee venoms do.

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