Background: Wood dust is known to cause allergic occupational asthma and obeche (Triplochiton scleroxylon) is a prominent exponent in this field. However, the knowledge about wood allergens is still limited. The aim of this study was to identify and characterize obeche wood allergens.
Methods: Obeche extracts were prepared from freshly ground in comparison to 7 years stored wood dust and investigated by Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamid gel electrophoresis, enzyme-linked allergosorbent test and immunoglobulin (Ig)E-immunoblot. Allergens were detected by specific IgE of seven obeche allergic patients' sera and protein analysis was performed by mass spectrometry. Cross-reactivity was demonstrated by ImmunoCAP-inhibition with sera of seven obeche and four latex-allergic patients.
Results: Obeche extracts showed different protein pattern and IgE-binding capacities depend on the age of the wood dust. A 38 kDa protein was identified as major obeche wood allergen, detected by six of seven (85%) obeche allergic patients' sera and was entitled as Trip s 1. Trip s 1 is homologous to plant class I chitinases and exhibited enzyme activity demonstrated by chitinolysis. Co-recognition or cross-reactivity of Trip s 1 according to structural similarity was seen in sera of latex allergic patients. IgE inhibition studies with obeche as solid phase and Trip s 1 and latex hevein as inhibitor demonstrated that Trip s 1 was a more effective inhibitor in obeche as well as in latex allergic patients' sera.
Conclusions: Trip s 1 is a new obeche wood allergen of the plant class I chitinase family. This finding may explain the dominant role of obeche in sensitization against wood dust.