Molecular and immunological characterization of the first allergenic lipocalin in hamster: the major allergen from Siberian hamster (Phodopus sungorus). [Molecular Bases of Disease]

July 3rd, 2014 by Torres, J. A., de las Heras, M., Maroto, A. S., Vivanco, F., Sastre, J., Pastor-Vargas, C.

The most frequent pet allergy is allergy to cat and dog, but in recent years, it has become increasingly popular to have other pets, and the risk of exposure to new allergens is increasing. The list of new pets includes hamsters, and one of the most popular hamster is the Siberian hamster (Phodopus sungorus). The aim of this study was the characterization and cloning of the major allergen from this hamster. The study of its allergenicity and cross-reactivity could improve specific diagnosis and treatment for hamster-allergic patients. Thirteen Siberian hamster-allergic patients were recruited at the outpatient clinic. Protein extracts were prepared from the hair, urine and salivary glands of 4 hamster species (European, golden, Siberian and Roborovski). IgE-binding proteins were detected by immunobloting and identified by mass spectrometry. The recombinant protein was produced in E.coli. and then purified by metal chelate affinity chromatography. The allergenic properties of the recombinant protein were tested by ELISA and immunoblotting and biological activity was tested according to capacity for basophil activation. Three IgE-binding proteins were identified in extracts obteined from the hair, urine and salivary glands of the Siberian hamster. All proteins correspond to the same protein, which was identified as a lipocalin. This lipocalin has no cross-reactivity with common and golden hamsters. The recombinant allergen was cloned and purified, showing similar IgE reactivity in vitro to protein extracts from Siberian hamster. Also, the recombinant allergen is capable of producing a biological activation in vivo. The major allergen from Siberian hamster was cloned and allergenic properties have been characterized, providing a new tool for specific diagnosis of allergy to Siberian hamster.
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