On the basis of IgE epitope mapping data, we have produced three allergen fragments comprising aa 1-33, 1-57, and 31-110 of the major timothy grass pollen allergen Phl p 6 aa 1-110 by expression in Escherichia coli and chemical synthesis. Circular dichroism analysis showed that the purified fragments lack the typical α-helical fold of the complete allergen. Superposition of the sequences of the fragments onto the three-dimensional allergen structure indicated that the removal of only one of the four helices had led to the destabilization of the α helical structure of Phl p 6. The lack of structural fold was accompanied by a strong reduction of IgE reactivity and allergenic activity of the three fragments as determined by basophil histamine release in allergic patients. Each of the three Phl p 6 fragments adsorbed to CFA induced Phl p 6-specific IgG Abs in rabbits. However, immunization of mice with fragments adsorbed to an adjuvant allowed for human use (AluGel-S) showed that only the Phl p 6 aa 31-110 induced Phl p 6-specific IgG Abs. Anti-Phl p 6 IgG Abs induced by vaccination with Phl p 6 aa 31-110 inhibited patients' IgE reactivity to the wild-type allergen as well as Phl p 6-induced basophil degranulation. Our results are of importance for the design of hypoallergenic allergy vaccines. They show that it has to be demonstrated that the hypoallergenic derivative induces a robust IgG response in a formulation that can be used in allergic patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy