Serum testing of genetically modified soybeans with special emphasis on potential allergenicity of the heterologous protein CP4 EPSPS

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Aug;51(8):946-55. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.200600285.


Roundup Ready soy contains the CP4-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (CP4 EPSPS) protein. Serum IgE from two distinct populations of soy-allergic patients were recruited to determine their IgE-binding specificity. One population consisted of 10 adult patients from Europe, whose primary diagnosis was soy food allergy with some also having mite allergy. In addition, 6 primarily mite-allergic, 6 food-allergic (celery, carrot, milk, shrimp, walnut, and apple), and 5 non-allergic patients were tested. Another population consisted of 13 children from Korea, whose primary diagnosis was atopic dermatitis and secondarily soy and egg sensitization. In addition, 11 non-allergic patients were tested. Each patient population was extensively characterized with respect to clinical symptoms, specific IgE (CAP) scores, and total IgE. Immunoblots and ELISA assays were developed using serum IgE from these patients and soy extracts, CP4 EPSPS, rice extract, ovalbumin, rubisco, purified major peanut allergen Ara h 2, the putative soy allergen Gly m Bd 30k and mite allergen Der f 2 proteins as the intended targets. Immunoblot results indicated that soy-allergic patients bound soy extracts but did not specifically bind rubisco or CP4 EPSPS. ELISA results were in general agreement with the immunoblot results except that rubisco bound significant quantities of serum IgE from some patients. These results indicate that the CP4 EPSPS protein does not bind significant quantities of IgE from two geographically distinct sensitive populations and there is no evidence for an increased allergenic potential of this biotech protein.

MeSH terms

  • 3-Phosphoshikimate 1-Carboxyvinyltransferase / genetics
  • 3-Phosphoshikimate 1-Carboxyvinyltransferase / immunology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Allergens / immunology
  • Blotting, Western
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Europe
  • Food Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Korea
  • Middle Aged
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / chemistry*
  • Rhizobium / enzymology*
  • Rhizobium / genetics
  • Soybean Proteins / immunology*
  • Soybeans / chemistry*
  • Soybeans / genetics


  • Allergens
  • Soybean Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • 3-Phosphoshikimate 1-Carboxyvinyltransferase