Macadamia nut is an increasingly popular food item of a healthy diet. However, macadamia nut is also a potent allergenic food. To date, there is little information about the allergenic proteins involved. In this study, using sera from macadamia nut allergic individuals, four IgE-binding proteins were detected. Their identities were determined by tandem mass spectrometry with de novo sequencing. Three IgE-reactive proteins, the vicilin Mac i 1, the legumin Mac i 2 and the antimicrobial peptide 2a/Mac i 1 (28-76) were purified from the nut while the non-specific lipid transfer protein was produced as a recombinant in Pichia pastoris. IgE-binding assays using sera from well-characterized groups of tree nut and/or peanut allergic patients revealed that the allergens were mainly recognized by sera from macadamia nut allergic individuals. Hence, these newly discovered allergens will enable molecular diagnostics to identify patients at high risk of macadamia nut allergy.
Keywords: Allergen; Food allergens; Food allergy; Legumin; Macadamia allergy; Macadamia nut; Tree nut allergy; Vicilin.
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