Background: Two predominant mite species, Dermatophagoides farinae and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, are responsible for the immediate hypersensitivity reaction. Although a large number of antigens and allergens was detected in a whole mite culture extract, only the major allergens of Der I and II groups have been extensively studied. Much information on other important allergens remains to be accumulated.
Methods: A new allergen complementary DNA (cDNA) clone was isolated from a D. farinae protein cDNA library. The expression product of the cDNA and native tropomyosin from D. farinae were purified, characterized, and evaluated.
Results: An amino acid sequence deduced from the cDNA clone revealed significant homology with tropomyosins conserved in a wide range of animals. The amino acid sequences of two fragments obtained by degradation of the purified protein with cyanogen bromide coincided completely with the corresponding portions of the deduced amino acid sequence. The native tropomyosin reacted with specific IgE in the 31 sera tested at a high frequency (80.6%), comparable to that of Der f I (90.3%) and Der f II (74.2%).
Conclusions: The cloned cDNA encodes tropomyosin. The high binding response of specific IgE antibodies to recombinant and native tropomyosins demonstrates that mite tropomyosin is an additional important allergen in house dust mite.