Identification of grape and wine allergens as an endochitinase 4, a lipid-transfer protein, and a thaumatin

Elide Anna Pastorello, Laura Farioli, Valerio Pravettoni, Claudio Ortolani, Donatella Fortunato, Maria Gabriella Giuffrida, Lorenza Perono Garoffo, Ambra Marianna Calamari, Oreste Brenna, Amedeo Conti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Few allergic reactions to grape are reported in the literature. In some cases an association with peach and cherry allergy was observed. No IgE-mediated reactions to wine have been described, and no grape major allergens have yet been identified. Objective: We describe several severe reactions to grape or wine. We characterized the grape major allergens and tried to identify the allergen in wine. Methods: We collected documented histories of allergic reactions to grape and wine. Grape allergens were identified by means of SDS-PAGE and immunoblotting and purified by means of HPLC. Using amino acid sequencing and mass spectrometry, we identified the family of proteins to which the allergens belong. Cross-reactivity with peach and cherry was evaluated by means of cross-wise inhibition experiments. Results: Eleven patients with reactions to grape and 3 with anaphylactic reactions to wine were recruited. The major allergens were an endochitinase 4A and a lipid-transfer protein (LTP) that was homologous to and cross-reactive with peach LTP. A 24-kd protein homologous to the cherry thaumatin-like allergen was a minor allergen. Endochitinase 4A is very likely the allergen in vino novello and in vino Fragolino. Conclusions: Grape and wine might cause severe allergic reactions in sensitive patients. The major allergens of grape are endochitinase 4A, which is also the allergen of wine, and an LTP cross-reacting with the peach major allergen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-359
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2003


  • Food hypersensitivity
  • Grape
  • Major allergens
  • Minor allergens
  • Wine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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