Although Cupressus sempervirens (Cups) pollen represents one of the main aeroallergens in southern Europe, only two Cups allergens have yet been identified and reported: Cup s 1 and Cup s 3. The aim of this study was to identify allergens in cypress pollen using an immuno-proteomic approach. A sequential pollen protein extraction was developed and supplemented by a combinatorial peptide ligand library (CPLL) treatment to select low-abundance species. Control extracts and CPLL eluates have then been resolved by 1-DE and 2-DE gel electrophoresis, blotted and confronted with sera from cypress allergic patients. Extracted proteins including IgE-binding components were identified using nanoLC-MS/MS analysis. A total of 108 unique gene products were identified analyzing the eluates and control loaded onto 1-DE SDS-PAGE. Forty proteins were identified in control samples and 68 supplementary species upon CPLL treatment. Out of the 12 IgE-binding proteins characterized in 2-DE gels, 9 were already reported as allergens in various sources including the two major known allergens of Cupressaceae (groups 1 and 2). Three IgE-binding proteins, not previously reported as allergens, are newly described. The improvement in protein extraction combined with the enrichment of low-abundance species allowed us to extend the repertoire of potential cypress pollen allergens.
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