Pollens from trees of the order Fagales (e.g. birch, alder, hazel, and hornbeam) all contain one major allergen--the main cause for tree pollen allergy. So far the major allergens from birch (Bet v 1), alder (Aln g 1), hazel (Cor a 1), and hornbeam (Car b 1) have been characterized, showing high sequence similarity with each other (1-4). We present the molecular and immunologic characterization of Cas s 1, the major allergen from the European chestnut (Castanea sativa). From aqueous pollen extracts from European chestnut a protein was purified to homogeneity and was subjected to further investigation. The protein revealed a Mr of 22 kDa and was shown to represent the major allergen of the European chestnut (immunoblotting, histamine release) and designated Cas s 1. Despite a marked difference in Mr, Cas s 1 shows significant amino acid sequence similarity at the N-terminus and is antigenically closely related to the major birch pollen allergen Bet v 1 (17 kDa), as shown by binding to the anti-Bet v 1 monoclonal antibody BIP-1 and by IgE-inhibition tests using recombinant Bet v 1.