Cashew Tree Pollen: An Unknown Source of IgE-Reactive Molecules

Int J Mol Sci. 2019 May 15;20(10):2397. doi: 10.3390/ijms20102397.


Pollinosis is sub-diagnosed and rarely studied in tropical countries. Cashew tree pollen has been reported as an allergen source although the knowledge of its immunoglobulin E (IgE)-reactive molecules is lacking. Therefore, this work aimed to identify IgE-reactive molecules and provide a proteomic profile of this pollen. From the 830 proteins identified by shotgun analysis, 163 were annotated to gene ontology, and a list of 39 proteins filtered for high confidence was submitted to the Allfam database where nine were assigned to allergenic families. Thus, 12 patients from the northeast of Brazil with persistent allergic rhinitis and aggravation of symptoms during cashew flowering season were selected. Using a 2D-based approach, we identified 20 IgE-reactive proteins, four already recognized as allergens, including a homolog of the birch isoflavone-reductase (Bet v 6). IgE-reactivity against the extract in native form was confirmed for five patients in ELISA, with three being positive for Bet v 6. Herein, we present a group of patients with rhinitis exposed to cashew tree pollen with the first description of IgE-binding proteins and a proteomic profile of the whole pollen. Cashew tree pollen is considered an important trigger of rhinitis symptoms in clinical practice in the northeast of Brazil, and the elucidation of its allergenic molecules can improve the diagnostics and treatment for allergic patients.

Keywords: Brazil; aeroallergens; novel allergens; pollinosis; proteome; shotgun analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Allergens / chemistry
  • Allergens / immunology*
  • Anacardium / chemistry*
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Plant / adverse effects
  • Antigens, Plant / chemistry
  • Antigens, Plant / genetics
  • Antigens, Plant / immunology
  • Betula / metabolism
  • Brazil
  • Carrier Proteins / analysis
  • Carrier Proteins / immunology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross Reactions / immunology
  • Dermatophagoides farinae
  • Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology*
  • Male
  • Plant Proteins / adverse effects
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / immunology
  • Pollen / adverse effects*
  • Pollen / chemistry*
  • Pollen / genetics
  • Proteomics
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / chemically induced*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / immunology
  • Skin Tests


  • Allergens
  • Antigens, Plant
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Plant Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin E