The major cow's milk allergen Bos d 5 belongs to the lipocalin protein family, with an intramolecular pocket for hydrophobic ligands. We investigated whether Bos d 5 when loaded with the active vitamin A metabolite retinoic acid (RA), would elicit differential immune responses compared to the unloaded state. By in silico docking an affinity energy of -7.8 kcal/mol was calculated for RA into Bos d 5. Loading of RA to Bos d 5 could be achieved in vitro, as demonstrated by ANS displacement assay, but had no effect on serum IgE binding in tolerant or challenge-positive milk allergic children. Bioinformatic analysis revealed that RA binds to the immunodominant T-cell epitope region of Bos d 5. In accordance, Bos d 5 significantly suppressed the CD3+ CD4+ cell numbers, proliferative response and IL-10, IL-13 and IFN-γ secretion from stimulated human PBMCs only when complexed with RA. This phenomenon was neither associated with apoptosis of T-cells nor with the activation of Foxp3+ T-cells, but correlated likely with enhanced stability to lysosomal digestion due to a predicted overlap of Cathepsin S cleavage sites with the RA binding site. Taken together, proper loading of Bos d 5 with RA may suppress its immunogenicity and prevent its allergenicity.
- Cell Proliferation/drug effects
- Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/metabolism
- Immunoglobulin E/metabolism
- Immunologic Factors/metabolism
- Leukocytes, Mononuclear/immunology
- Molecular Docking Simulation
- Protein Binding