The role of lipid transfer proteins in allergic diseases

Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2010 Sep;10(5):326-35. doi: 10.1007/s11882-010-0128-9.


Nonspecific lipid transfer proteins (LTPs) are important allergens in fruits, vegetables, nuts, pollen, and latex. Despite their wide distribution throughout the plant kingdom, their clinical relevance is largely confined to the Mediterranean area. As they can sensitize via the gastrointestinal tract, LPTs are considered true food allergens, and IgE reactivity to LTPs is often associated with severe systemic symptoms. Although Pru p 3 represents the predominant LTP in terms of patients' IgE recognition, the contribution of pollen LTPs in primary sensitization cannot be ruled out. Due to structural homology, LTPs from different allergen sources are generally IgE cross-reactive. However, sensitization profiles among allergic patients are extremely heterogeneous, and individual cross-reactivity patterns can be restricted to a single LTP or encompass many different LTPs. Molecule-based approaches in allergy research and diagnosis are important for better understanding of LTP allergy and could assist clinicians with providing adequate patient-tailored advice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antigens, Plant / chemistry*
  • Antigens, Plant / immunology*
  • Carrier Proteins / chemistry*
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / immunology*
  • Cross Reactions
  • Diet, Mediterranean / adverse effects
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / immunology
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins
  • Food Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Mediterranean Region
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oryza / chemistry
  • Plants / adverse effects
  • Pollen / immunology
  • Sequence Alignment


  • Antigens, Plant
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins
  • Ltp1 protein, barley
  • lipid transfer protein
  • Immunoglobulin E