Epitope grafting, re-creating a conformational Bet v 1 antibody epitope on the surface of the homologous apple allergen Mal d 1

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Jens Holm, Mercedes Ferreras, Henrik Ipsen, Peter A Würtzen, Michael Gajhede, Jørgen N Larsen, Kaare Lund, Michael D Spangfort

Birch-allergic patients often experience oral allergy syndrome upon ingestion of vegetables and fruits, most prominently apple, that is caused by antibody cross-reactivity of the IgE antibodies in patients to proteins sharing molecular surface structures with the major birch pollen group 1 allergen from Betula verrucosa (Bet v 1). Still, to what extent two molecular surfaces need to be similar for clinically relevant antibody cross-reactivity to occur is unknown. Here, we describe the grafting of a defined conformational antibody epitope from Bet v 1 onto the surface of the homologous apple allergen Malus domestica group 1 (Mal d 1). Engineering of the epitope was accomplished by genetic engineering substituting amino acid residues in Mal d 1 differing between Bet v 1 and Mal d 1 within the epitope defined by the mAb BV16. The kinetic parameters characterizing the antibody binding interaction to Bet v 1 and to the mutated Mal d 1 variant, respectively, were assessed by Biacore experiments demonstrating indistinguishable binding kinetics. This demonstrates that a conformational epitope defined by a high affinity antibody-allergen interaction can successfully be grafted onto a homologous scaffold molecule without loss of epitope functionality. Furthermore, we show that increasing surface similarity to Bet v 1 of Mal d 1 variants by substitution of 6-8 residues increased the ability to trigger basophil histamine release with blood from birch-allergic patients not responding to natural Mal d 1. Conversely, reducing surface similarity to Bet v 1 of a Mal d 1 variant by substitution of three residues abolished histamine release in one patient reacting to Mal d 1.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume286
Issue number20
Pages (from-to)17569-17578
ISSN0021-9258
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2011

ID: 34516050