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Structural Characterization of the Allergenic 2S Albumin Cor a 14: Comparing Proteoform Patterns across Hazelnut Cultivars

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posted on 23.01.2017, 16:20 by Robin Korte, Jana Happe, Ina Brümmer, Jens Brockmeyer
The hazelnut allergen Cor a 14 belongs to the 2S albumins, a family of heterodimeric seed storage proteins exhibiting a high degree of structural diversity. Given its relevance as an allergen and the potential to elicit severe reactions, elucidation of the sequence heterogeneity of naturally occurring Cor a 14 is essential for the development of reliable diagnostics and risk evaluation. We therefore performed a comprehensive survey on the proteoforms of Cor a 14 and determined their quantitative distribution in three different hazelnut cultivars by a combinatory HPLC–HRMS approach including bottom-up and intact mass analysis. Compared with the Cor a 14 prototype sequence, we identified three sequence polymorphisms, two of the small and one of the large subunit, and elucidated their specific pairing on the protein level. Furthermore, we located a pronounced microheterogeneity on the protein termini and, for the first time, provide data on varying proteoform patterns between different cultivars of an allergenic seed. Together, these data present the basis for a more detailed investigation on the allergenicity of Cor a 14 in different cultivars and constitute, to be best of our knowledge, the largest set of proteoforms so far reported for a 2S albumin.