Isolation, expression and immunological characterization of a calcium-binding protein from Parietaria pollen

A. Bonura, L. Gulino, A. Trapani, G. Di Felice, R. Tinghino, S. Amoroso, D. Geraci, R. Valenta, K. Westritschnig, E. Scala, A. Mari, P. Colombo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The diagnosis and therapy of allergic disorders are usually performed with crude extracts which are a heterogeneous mixture of proteins with different allergenic potency. The knowledge of the allergenic composition is a key step for diagnostic and therapeutic options. Parietaria judaica pollen represents one of the main sources of allergens in the Mediterranean area and its major allergens have already been identified (Par j 1 and Par j 2). In addition, inhibition studies performed using a calcium-binding protein (CBP) from grass pollen (Phl p 7) showed the presence of a homologue of this cross-reactive allergen in the Parietaria extract. Screening of a cDNA library allowed us to isolate a 480 bp cDNA containing the information for an 87 AA long protein with high level of homology to calcium-binding proteins from other allergenic sources. It was expressed as a recombinant allergen in Escherichia coli and purified by affinity chromatography. Its expression allowed us to study the prevalence of this allergen in a population of allergic patients in southern Europe. Immunoblotting and inhibition studies showed that this allergen shares a pattern of IgE epitopes in common with other 2-EF-hand calcium-binding proteins from botanically non-related species. The immunological properties of the Pj CBP were investigated by CD63 activation assay and CFDA-SE staining. In conclusion, DNA recombinant technology allowed the isolation, expression and immunological characterization of a cross-reactive calcium-binding protein allergen from Parietaria judaica pollen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2465-2473
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Immunology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - May 2008


  • Cross-reactivity
  • EF-hand
  • Parietaria pollen
  • Polcalcin
  • Recombinant allergen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Immunology


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