Profilin is a major allergen in watermelon

Plant profilins have been reported as minor allergens. They are a well-known pan-allergen family responsible for cross-reactivity between plant-derived foods and pollens.

Watermelon profilin is a major allergen in watermelon (Citrullus lanatus).

The aim of this Spanish study was to characterize recombinant watermelon profilin, confirming its reactivity for diagnosis and the development of immunotherapy.

Native profilin was purified from watermelon extract. Recombinant His-tagged profilin was produced. ELISA and immunoblot were carried out with sera from 17 watermelon-allergic patients. Biological activity was tested by basophil activation test.

Similarities were found in the IgE-binding patterns and biological activity of recombinant profilin and native profilin. Recombinant profilin may be useful for diagnosis.

Watermelon Profilin: Characterization of a Major Allergen as a Model for Plant-Derived Food Profilins. Cases B, Pastor-Vargas C, Gil Dones F, Perez-Gordo M, Maroto AS, de Las Heras M, Vivanco F, Cuesta-Herranz J. Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2010 May 18;153(3):215-222.
Cross Reactions Among Foods (PDF).
Image source: Watermelons on display by a roadside vendor in Delhi, India, Wikipedia, Steve Evans, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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