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Allergy. 1993 Aug;48(6):401-8.

Allergens of Pityrosporum ovale and Candida albicans. II. Physicochemical characterization.

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Department of Dermatology, University Hospital, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Pityrosporum ovale has recently been recognized as a source of allergens to which many patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) show type I skin reactions and specific IgE antibodies. In this study the IgE-binding components and/or epitopes in P. ovale extract were shown to be partially sensitive to pronase or trypsin treatment, whereas periodate oxidation resulted in a complete loss of IgE-binding capacity, thus suggesting the involvement of carbohydrate structures. In Con A affinity chromatography most of the IgE-binding capacity of crude P. ovale extract bound to the column, and could be eluted with mannoside. Gel filtration on Sephacryl S-400 revealed a marked heterogeneity with respect to molecular mass, with most of the IgE-binding activity associated with high-mol.-mass fractions (from 5 x 10(4) up to 2 x 10(6) Da). A similar heterogeneity was found after chromatofocusing, with IgE-binding in the whole pI-range from 7.0 to 4.0. Essentially identical results were obtained with extracts of Candida albicans, in agreement with the previously shown cross-reactivity of IgE-binding components in the two yeast extracts. In inhibition ELISA, gel filtration and chromatofocusing fractions containing components with widely different mol. mass or pI showed complete reciprocal cross-inhibition, and were all capable of inhibiting the binding of IgE to unfractionated extracts. We therefore conclude that the cross-reacting anti-P. ovale/anti-C. albicans IgE antibodies in the sera of AD patients are mainly directed at a restricted number of carbohydrate epitopes that are expressed on a heterodisperse range of high-mol.-mass components, probably mannans or mannoproteins.

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