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J Biol Chem. 1995 Mar 3;270(9):4457-65.

Sequence identity and antigenic cross-reactivity of white face hornet venom allergen, also a hyaluronidase, with other proteins.

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  • 1Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10021-6399.


White face hornet (Dolichovespula maculata) venom has three known protein allergens which induce IgE response in susceptible people. They are antigen 5, phospholipase A1, and hyaluronidase, also known as Dol m 5, 1, and 2, respectively. We have cloned Dol m 2, a protein of 331 residues. When expressed in bacteria, a mixture of recombinant Dol m 2 and its fragments was obtained. The fragments were apparently generated by proteolysis of a Met-Met bond at residue 122, as they were not observed for a Dol m 2 mutant with a Leu-Met bond. Dol m 2 has 56% sequence identity with the honey bee venom allergen hyaluronidase and 27% identity with PH-20, a human sperm protein with hyaluronidase activity. A common feature of hornet venom allergens is their sequence identity with other proteins in our environment. We showed previously the sequence identity of Dol m 5 with a plant protein and a mammalian testis protein and of Dol m 1 with mammalian lipases. In BALB/c mice, Dol m 2 and bee hyaluronidase showed cross-reactivity at both antibody and T cell levels. These findings are relevant to some patients' multiple sensitivity to hornet and bee stings.

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