Identification of parvalbumin and two new thermolabile major allergens of Thunnus tonggol using a proteomics approach

Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2013;162(4):299-309. doi: 10.1159/000354544. Epub 2013 Oct 25.


Background: The longtail tuna (Thunnus tonggol) is widely consumed in Asia. Parvalbumin, the main major allergen of fish, has been well identified in multiple fish species, yet little is known about the allergenic proteins in T. tonggol. Thus, the aim of this study was to characterize the major allergens of T. tonggol using a proteomics approach.

Methods: Raw and boiled extracts of the fish were prepared. Fish proteins were separated by means of SDS-PAGE and two-dimensional (2-DE) electrophoresis. 1-DE immunoblotting of raw extract was performed with sera from fish-allergic patients. Ten sera were further analysed by 2-DE immunoblotting. Selected major allergenic protein spots were excised, trypsin digested and analysed by means of mass spectrometry.

Results: SDS-PAGE of raw extract revealed 26 protein fractions, while boiled extract demonstrated fewer bands. The 2-DE gel profile of the raw extract further fractionated the protein bands to more than 100 distinct protein spots. 1-DE immunoblotting of raw extract exhibited two thermolabile protein fractions of 42 and 51 kDa as the major allergens, while the boiled extract only revealed a single IgE-binding band at 151 kDa. 2-DE immunoblotting of raw extract further detected numerous major IgE-reactive spots of 11-13, 42 and 51 kDa. Mass spectrometry analysis of the peptides generated from the 12, 42 and 51 kDa digested spots indicated that these spots were parvalbumin, creatine kinase and enolase, respectively.

Conclusions: In addition to parvalbumin, two new thermolabile allergens were identified as major allergenic proteins of T. tonggol. This study proved that both thermostable and thermolabile proteins are important in local tuna allergy and should be included in diagnostic strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / analysis*
  • Allergens / immunology
  • Animals
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Fish Proteins / chemistry*
  • Fish Proteins / immunology
  • Food Hypersensitivity / diagnosis
  • Food Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Parvalbumins / analysis*
  • Parvalbumins / immunology
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Tuna / immunology*


  • Allergens
  • Fish Proteins
  • Parvalbumins
  • Immunoglobulin E