Molecular and immunological characterization of Can f 4: a dog dander allergen cross-reactive with a 23 kDa odorant-binding protein in cow dander

Clin Exp Allergy. 2010 Aug;40(8):1276-87. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.2010.03533.x. Epub 2010 Jun 7.


Background: Dog dander is an important cause of respiratory allergy but its content of allergenic components is still incompletely known. While Can f 1, 2, 3 and 5 have been studied in detail, only fragmentary information is available on the lipocalin Can f 4.

Objective: To purify, clone and characterize dog dander allergen Can f 4.

Methods: Can f 4 was purified from dog dander extract by size exclusion, ion exchange and reverse phase chromatography. A cDNA encoding Can f 4 was cloned and used to produce recombinant Can f 4 in Escherichia coli. A 23 kDa protein from cow dander, displaying cross-reactivity with Can f 4, was purified and identified by amino acid sequencing and mass spectrometry. IgE antibody binding to dog and cow dander extract and to individual dog allergens among 37 dog allergic subjects and 44 pollen allergic controls was studied using ImmunoCAP.

Results: A dog genome segment containing the Can f 4 gene was bioinformatically identified and enabled the cloning of Can f 4 cDNA. Recombinant Can f 4 displayed close immunological and biochemical similarity to purified natural Can f 4 and bound IgE antibodies from 13/37 (35%) sera of dog allergic subjects. Can f 4 reactive sera showed IgE binding to a 23 kDa protein present in cow dander extract, related to a family of odorant-binding proteins. The dog and cow proteins shared 37% sequence identity and their cross-reactivity was demonstrated by IgE inhibition experiments.

Conclusion: Recombinant Can f 4 brings the panel of available dog allergens closer to completion and will be important in component-resolved diagnostics in allergy to animal epithelial allergens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Allergens / chemistry
  • Allergens / genetics
  • Allergens / immunology*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cattle / immunology*
  • Chromatography, Ion Exchange
  • Cross Reactions
  • Dogs / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Immunoblotting
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Receptors, Odorant / chemistry
  • Receptors, Odorant / genetics
  • Receptors, Odorant / immunology
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Young Adult


  • Allergens
  • Receptors, Odorant
  • odorant-binding protein
  • Immunoglobulin E