IgE Reactivity of Recombinant Pac c 3 from the Asian Needle Ant (Pachycondyla chinensis)

Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2016;169(2):93-100. doi: 10.1159/000444364. Epub 2016 Apr 5.


Background: Stings from the Asian needle ant are an important cause of anaphylaxis in East Asia. A 23-kDa protein homologous to antigen 5 is the major allergen produced by these ants. In this study, we aimed to produce a recombinant antigen 5 allergen, Pac c 3.

Methods: Recombinant Pac c 3 allergen from the Asian needle ant was expressed in Pichia pastoris and purified by ammonium sulfate precipitation and Ni affinity chromatography. IgE reactivity was demonstrated by ELISA and immunoblotting.

Results: The recombinant protein was recognized in 5 of 6 (83.3%) serum samples from patients with demonstrated anaphylaxis to ants. IgE reactivity to an antigen 5 allergen from Asian needle ant venom sac extract was specifically inhibited by the recombinant protein. It was also able to inhibit IgE binding to the vespid allergen Ves v 5 by ImmunoCAP analysis, indicating the presence of cross-reactivity.

Conclusion: A recombinant Pac c 3, cross-reactive with Ves v 5, from the Asian needle ant was successfully produced in the methylotrophic yeast P. pastoris. This protein could be useful for the development of component-resolved diagnostics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Allergens / immunology*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Anaphylaxis / blood
  • Anaphylaxis / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Ants / immunology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross Reactions / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology*
  • Insect Bites and Stings
  • Insect Proteins / chemistry
  • Insect Proteins / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry
  • Recombinant Proteins / immunology*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Young Adult


  • Allergens
  • Insect Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Ves v 5 allergen
  • Immunoglobulin E