Expression of the immunoreactive buckwheat major allergenic storage protein in Lactococcus lactis

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2013 Apr;97(8):3603-11. doi: 10.1007/s00253-012-4608-9. Epub 2012 Dec 5.


Proteins from buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) are strong allergens that can cause serious symptoms, including anaphylaxis, in patients with hypersensitivity. In this study, we successfully developed a modified lactic acid bacterial vector (pNSH) and a recombinant strain of Lactococcus lactis NZ9000 (NZ9000) that produced a major allergenic storage protein of buckwheat, Fagag1 (61.2 kDa, GenBank accession number AF152003), with or without a green fluorescent protein (GFP) tag. GFP fluorescence allows for rapid, simple, and accurate measurement of target protein expression by microscopy or fluorimetry. We describe a convenient method for production of rGFP-Fagag1 fusion and rFagag1 proteins with a good yield in an advantageous probiotic host. We found that in vitro treatment of splenocytes isolated from buckwheat crude protein-immunized mice with rFagag1 increased the expression of allergic inflammation cytokines such as IL-4, IL-13, and IL-17 F. Because it was less antigenic, rGFP-Fagag1 protein from NZ9000 might be of limited use; however, rFagag1 from NZ9000 evoked a robust response as measured by induction of IL-4 and IL-17 F expression levels. The observed allergic activity is indicative of a Th2 cell-mediated immune response and is similar to the effects induced by exposure to buckwheat crude protein. Our results suggest that expression of rFagag1 in NZ9000 may facilitate in vivo applications of this system aimed at improving the specificity of immunological responses to buckwheat allergens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / biosynthesis*
  • Allergens / genetics*
  • Allergens / immunology
  • Animals
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • DNA, Plant / chemistry
  • DNA, Plant / genetics
  • Fagopyrum / genetics*
  • Lactococcus lactis / genetics
  • Lactococcus lactis / metabolism
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / immunology
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / immunology
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / immunology
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • Allergens
  • Cytokines
  • DNA, Plant
  • Plant Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AB758276