Background: In Japan, squid is an important seafood, and some patients with food allergies are sensitive to squid. There has been no report, however, describing the major allergens of squid.
Objective: To characterize squid allergens, we isolated a major allergen from the Pacific flying squid (Todarodes pacificus) and compared it with a major allergen from a shrimp (Penaeus orientalis).
Methods: The major squid and shrimp allergens were isolated by column chromatography on diethylaminoethyl-Sepharose (Pharmacia, Uppsala, Sweden), hydroxylapatite, and Sephacryl S-300 (Pharmacia). The IgE reactivity of the isolated allergens was assessed by immunoblotting. The cross-reactivity between the squid and shrimp allergens was examined by use of mouse polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies to the major allergens. Amino acid sequence analyses of the isolated allergens were done.
Results: The isolated squid allergen is a 38 kd, heat-stable protein. IgE antibody binding to the purified squid allergen was demonstrated by immunoblotting. Cross-reactivity between major squid and shrimp allergens was demonstrated with sera from patients allergic to squid or shrimp or with allergen-specific monoclonal antibodies. The amino acid sequence analysis of the major squid allergen showed a marked homology with tropomyosin from blood fluke planorbid (Biomphalaria glabrata), which is a common vector snail of Schistosoma mansoni.
Conclusion: This 38 kd protein is a major allergen of the squid, Todarodes pacificus, and is believed to be squid muscle protein tropomyosin. We named it Tod p 1 according to International Union of Immunological Societies allergen nomenclature regulation.