Similar Allergenicity to Different Artemisia Species Is a Consequence of Highly Cross-Reactive Art v 1-Like Molecules

Medicina (Kaunas). 2019 Aug 20;55(8):504. doi: 10.3390/medicina55080504.


Background and objectives: Pollens of weeds are relevant elicitors of type I allergies. While many Artemisia species occur worldwide, allergy research so far has only focused on Artemisia vulgaris. We aimed to characterize other prevalent Artemisia species regarding their allergen profiles. Materials and Methods: Aqueous extracts of pollen from seven Artemisia species were characterized by gel electrophoresis and ELISA using sera from mugwort pollen-allergic patients (n = 11). The cDNA sequences of defensin-proline-linked proteins (DPLPs) were obtained, and purified proteins were tested in a competition ELISA, in rat basophil mediator release assays, and for activation of Jurkat T cells transduced with an Art v 1-specific TCR. IgE cross-reactivity to other allergens was evaluated using ImmunoCAP and ISAC. Results: The protein patterns of Artemisia spp. pollen extracts were similar in gel electrophoresis, with a major band at 24 kDa corresponding to DPLPs, like the previously identified Art v 1. Natural Art v 1 potently inhibited IgE binding to immobilized pollen extracts. Six novel Art v 1 homologs with high sequence identity and equivalent IgE reactivity were identified and termed Art ab 1, Art an 1, Art c 1, Art f 1, Art l 1, and Art t 1. All proteins triggered mediator release and cross-reacted at the T cell level. The Artemisia extracts contained additional IgE cross-reactive molecules from the nonspecific lipid transfer protein, pectate lyase, profilin, and polcalcin family. Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate that DPLPs in various Artemisia species have high allergenic potential. Therefore, related Artemisia species need to be considered to be allergen elicitors, especially due to the consideration of potential geographic expansion due to climatic changes.

Keywords: Art v 1; Artemisia; IgE cross-reactivity; allergens; allergy; defensin-like proteins; mugwort pollen; polyproline-rich protein; weeds.

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / immunology*
  • Artemisia / immunology*
  • Defensins / analysis
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Plant Extracts / immunology
  • Plant Proteins / immunology*
  • Proline / analysis


  • Allergens
  • Defensins
  • Plant Extracts
  • Plant Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Proline