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Fra a 1.02 Is the Most Potent Isoform of the Bet v 1-like Allergen in Strawberry Fruit

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journal contribution
posted on 18.04.2016, 00:00 by Katrin Franz-Oberdorf, Bernadette Eberlein, Kathrin Edelmann, Stephanie Hücherig, Fatma Besbes, Ulf Darsow, Johannes Ring, Wilfried Schwab
The strawberry fruit proteins Fra a 1.01E–1.08 are homologues of the major birch pollen allergen Bet v 1. Three of the proteins are known to have essential biological functions in pigment formation during fruit ripening and seem to be responsible for allergic reactions to strawberry fruit. We evaluated the cross-reactive allergenic potential of these putative strawberry allergens in patients allergic to birch pollen. Activation of basophils of eight atopic patients was studied using different concentrations of Fra a 1 isoforms. Bet v 1a was used as control and as atopic patient selection criterion. Although Fra a 1.01E–1.08 have amino acid sequence identities of 74.5–97.5% with Fra a 1.02, the basophil activation mediated by the eight Fra a 1 proteins differed substantially. Fra a 1.03 and Fra a 1.02 showed the highest activation of basophils, 73 and 66% of total basophils, respectively. On the basis of the high relative expression of the gene Fra a 1.02 in ripe strawberry fruits of allergenic varieties, Fra a 1.02 was identified as the main strawberry allergen of the Bet v 1 superfamily. Knowledge of the allergenic potential of Fra a 1.02/1.03 will help to improve food safety and can serve as a valuable marker for the development of red-fruited hypoallergenic strawberry cultivars.