Molecular and immunochemical characterization of profilin as major allergen from Platanus acerifolia pollen

Int Immunopharmacol. 2022 May;106:108601. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2022.108601. Epub 2022 Feb 11.


Background: The Platanus acerifolia (P. acerifolia) pollen is one of the most common causes of allergic respiratory symptoms in China. However, the allergenic components in P. acerifolia are not fully studied yet. The study aimed to determine the molecular and immunochemical characterization of the profilin from P. acerifolia pollen.

Methods: The coding sequence of profilin was amplified, cloned, and then expressed in Escherichia coli BL21 cells and purified by nickel affinity chromatography. Protein refolding was followed by structural characterization and homology 3D model building. The allergenicity and cross-reactivity were assessed by ELISA, immunoblotting, or basophil activation test (BAT) using the sera of P. acerifolia allergic patients.

Results: The cDNA sequence of profilin was cloned with a 396 bp open reading frame coding for 131 amino acids. The molecular weight of the profilin was approximately 14 kDa, and the predicted structure consisted of 3 α-helixes and 7 β-sheets. Physicochemical analysis indicated the profilin was a stable, relatively thermostable, and relatively conserved protein. The allergenicity determined by ELISA, western blot, and BAT suggested 76.9% (30/39) of the P. acerifolia pollen allergic patients displayed specific IgE recognition of the profilin. The profilin shared > 80% sequence identity with Pop n 2, the profilin from Populus nigra, and observed a significant cross-reactivity with Pop n 2 in IgE-inhibition assay.

Conclusion: Profilin, as one of the major component allergens in P. acerifolia pollen, was identified and characterized at molecular and immunochemical levels in this study. These findings would contribute to developing diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for P. acerifolia pollen allergic patients.

Keywords: Allergen; Characterization; Platanus acerifolia; Pollen; Profilin.

MeSH terms

  • Allergens* / chemistry
  • Allergens* / genetics
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cross Reactions
  • Humans
  • Pollen
  • Profilins* / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics


  • Allergens
  • Profilins
  • Recombinant Proteins