Kiwellin, a modular protein from green and gold kiwi fruits: evidence of in vivo and in vitro processing and IgE binding

J Agric Food Chem. 2008 May 28;56(10):3812-7. doi: 10.1021/jf703620m. Epub 2008 Apr 29.


Kiwellin, an allergenic protein formerly isolated from green kiwi fruit, has been identified as the most abundant component of the gold kiwi species. A protein named KiTH, showing a 20 kDa band on reducing SDS-PAGE and 100% identity with the C-terminal region of kiwellin, has been identified in the extract of the ripe green species. In vitro treatment of purified kiwellin with the protease actinidin from green kiwi fruit originated KiTH and kissper, a recently described pore-forming peptide. Primary structure analysis and experimental evidence suggest that kiwellin is a modular protein with two domains. It may undergo in vivo proteolytic processing by actinidin, thus producing KiTH and kissper. When probed with sera recognizing kiwellin from green kiwi fruit, KiTH showed IgE binding, with reactivity levels sometimes different from those of kiwellin. The IgE-binding capacity of kiwellin from gold kiwi fruit appears to be similar to that of the green species.

MeSH terms

  • Actinidia / chemistry
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antigens, Plant / chemistry
  • Antigens, Plant / isolation & purification
  • Antigens, Plant / metabolism*
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Immunoglobulin E / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Sequence Analysis, Protein


  • Antigens, Plant
  • Plant Extracts
  • kiwellin protein, Actinidia chinensis
  • Immunoglobulin E