Background: Silkworm pupa (SWP) food anaphylaxis has been described frequently in Asian countries. However, false-positive reactions by skin pricks and serum IgE (sIgE) tests to the extract complicate diagnosis, requiring identification of clinically relevant major allergens. Objectives: In this study, we characterized a novel SWP allergen, Bomb m 4, a 30-kDa lipoprotein, and evaluated its diagnostic sensitivity. Methods: Bomb m 4 was identified by a proteomic analysis. This recombinant (r)Bomb m 4 was overexpressed in Escherichia coli, and the IgE reactivity by ELISA was compared with other reported allergenic proteins: Bomb m 1 (arginine kinase), 27-kDa glycoprotein, Bomb m 3 (tropomyosin) using the serum samples from 17 SWP allergic patients and 11 asymptomatic sensitized subjects. Results: rBomb m 4-specific IgE was recognized by all 17 SWP allergic patients. The 27-kDa glycoprotein and Bomb m 1 sIgE were found in 35.3% and 0%, respectively, in the SWP allergic patients. ELISA sIgE reactivity increased significantly, when 4 M urea was added in serum samples. However, only 16% inhibition of sIgE reactivity to the whole SWP extract was exhibited by rBomb m 4, whereas more than 93% of self-inhibition of rBomb m 4 sIgE was obtained, possibly due to the low abundance of Bomb m 4 in the extract. Three linear epitopes (81–95, 191–205 and 224–238 residues) of rBomb m 4 were identified. These epitopes are shown to be released by pepsin digestion. Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) analysis showed the highest diagnostic value of Bomb m 4 followed by Bomb m 1, 27-kDa glycoprotein and Bomb m 3. Conclusion: Bomb m 4 is the major allergen of SWP allergic patients. It has cryptic epitopes which are exposed to IgE antibodies with digestive enzymes. This recombinant Bomb m 4 allergen permits exact diagnosis of SWP allergy.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the Korea Healthcare Technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Family Affairs, Republic of Korea (HR14C0006).
© 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy