The ingestion or inhalation of some proteins may lead to adverse immune reactions. Allergens may trigger allergic reactions in genetically predisposed individuals when they are absorbed through the skin or make contact with mucous membranes. An allergic disease often deteriorates the quality of life and may sometimes be life-threatening due to anaphylactic shock. A number of allergens have been characterized from various multicellular organisms to date. It is thought to be reasonable to pay a special attention to the substance which is highly cross-reactive and which causes adverse responses in the molecules that are not sensitized but similar to the sensitized allergen. Tropomyosin has been described as an important food allergen in shrimp, lobster, crab, oysters, squid, and other invertebrates. Allergic reactions to shellfish and mollusks are often cross-reactive, which may be explained by the highly conserved amino acid sequences of tropomyosins among invertebrates, but vertebrate tropomyosins are not known to be allergenic. Several tropomyosins from domestic arthropods have been reported to be allergenic. Recently, it was suggested that an infection of helminthic parasites might lead to sensitization to tropomyosin and elicit allergic reactions to other invertebrates. Much effort has been made to characterize these allergenic tropomyosins from various sources. We will discuss the physicochemical characteristics and the potential application of tropomyosin for the diagnosis and therapeutics of allergic disorders.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Structural Biology