Cross-reactivities between date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) polypeptides and foods implicated in the oral allergy syndrome

Allergy. 2002 Jun;57(6):508-18. doi: 10.1034/j.1398-9995.2002.23308.x.


Background: Date fruit and pollen antigens share a number of cross-reactive epitopes. Date pollen has been shown to cross-react with antigens from Artemisia, cultivated rye (Secale cereale), Timothy grass (Phleum pratense), Sydney golden wattle (Acacia longifolia) and Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) pollen. The present study was carried out to examine any cross-reactivities between date palm polypeptides and antigens of some common foods and vegetables that have been implicated in the oral allergy syndrome (OAS). Because most of such cross-reactivities in other allergens are attributable to the presence of carbohydrate chains and profilin, their role was also investigated.

Methods: Fresh extracts of 20 common fruits and vegetables were prepared. Putative date profilins were isolated by affinity chromatography using a poly L-proline column. Date fruit extracts were digested by various endoglycosidases and the immunoglobulin (Ig)E binding of the postdigest products was assessed in immunoblots. Rabbit antisera to whole date fruit extracts, Timothy grass profilin and putative date profilins, as well as human sera from date sensitive individuals were used in immunoblotting, ELISA and in inhibition experiments.

Results: IgG, ELISA and immunoblot results with the different rabbit antisera and date-sensitive atopic sera showed several antigenic cross-reactivities and similar cross-reactivities were seen with birch, date and timothy grass profilins. IgE, ELISA and immunoblot experiments with pooled date sensitive human sera showed a range of cross-reactivities with some food extracts. A number of the IgE cross-reactivities could be inhibited after preabsorption of pooled sera with date extracts. Sixty-six percent of individual date hypersensitive human sera bound IgE in putative date fruit profilin and their pooled sera bound IgE in birch pollen profilin. IgE-binding of the endoglycosidase digested date fruit extracts to atopic serum pool was restricted to only a very low molecular weight band of 6.5-8 kDa.

Conclusion: These results indicate that date palm polypeptides share cross-reactive IgG and IgE epitopes with a number of foods implicated in the oral allergy syndrome, bind to birch and Timothy grass profilins and bind IgE through glycosyl residues. The clinical relevance of these cross-reactivities needs to be further elucidated.

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / administration & dosage
  • Allergens / adverse effects
  • Allergens / immunology
  • Animals
  • Contractile Proteins*
  • Cross Reactions / immunology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Epitopes / immunology
  • Food Hypersensitivity / etiology*
  • Fruit / adverse effects*
  • Fruit / immunology*
  • Galectin 3 / blood
  • Galectin 3 / drug effects
  • Galectin 3 / immunology
  • Glycosylation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Microfilament Proteins / adverse effects
  • Microfilament Proteins / immunology
  • Microfilament Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Molecular Weight
  • Peptides / administration & dosage
  • Peptides / adverse effects*
  • Peptides / immunology*
  • Pollen / adverse effects
  • Pollen / immunology
  • Profilins
  • Proline / adverse effects
  • Proline / immunology
  • Proline / isolation & purification
  • Rabbits
  • Syndrome


  • Allergens
  • Contractile Proteins
  • Epitopes
  • Galectin 3
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Peptides
  • Profilins
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Proline