Background: Pan-allergens like profilins, calcium-binding proteins (CBPs), and nonspecific lipid transfer proteins have been suggested as possible specific markers for multiple pollen sensitizations, and could be used to predict cross-sensitization/poly-sensitization to several pollen allergens. Therefore, the purification and characterization of cross-reacting allergens in pollen is an extremely important task towards correct allergy diagnosis.
Methods: New pan-allergens were identified by screening a ragweed pollen cDNA library with sera of patients allergic to mugwort pollen. Resulting proteins were cloned, expressed, purified and characterized.
Results: We report complete cDNA sequences of two profilin isoforms (Amb a 8.01 and Amb a 8.02), two isoforms of a 2EF-hand CBP (Amb a 9.01 and Amb a 9.02), a new 3EF-hand CBP (Amb a 10) from ragweed pollen and a 2EF-hand CBP from mugwort (Art v 5). All these proteins were expressed in Escherichia coli, purified to homogeneity and characterized by biochemical and immunological means.
Conclusions: The identified proteins are novel pan-allergens and can be used as diagnostic markers for polysensitization and used in component-resolved diagnosis.