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Cockroach infestations have been linked with allergic diseases such as asthma in humans. Bla g 5, sigma class glutathione S-transferase (GST), is the major cockroach allergen which has the highest IgE response value of all cockroach allergens. Although several cockroach allergens have been identified and cloned, information regarding their B ell and T cell IgE-binding epitopes is limited. In order to analyze the IgE binding epitopes of Bla g 5, full-length and five peptide fragments (A, 1-100 amino acid residue; B, 91-201; Ba, 1-125; Bb, 1-150; Bc, 1-175) were expressed. Twelve (37.5%) of 32 sera from cockroach-sensitized subjects showed positive IgE reactivity to the recombinant Bla g 5 (rBla g 5). Six strong positive sera were selected for the epitope study. Recombinant proteins not containing 176-201 amino acid residues were unable to react to sera from cockroach sensitized individuals, suggesting that this region contains the IgE-binding epitope. Despite strong IgE reactivity to rBla g 5, the pooled serum from 5 cockroach-sensitized patients did not show IgE reactivity to all synthetic peptides consisting of 15 residues covering 161-201 amino acids. These results suggest the possibility that Bla g 5 may have a conformational epitope in the C-terminal region. GST is the important target for the development of vaccines and drugs against allergic diseases because of high cross-reactivity among insect species. This study will aid recombinant allergen research for immunotherapy of cockroach allergens and other insect allergens.
Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.