Proteomic analysis of the major birch allergen Bet v 1 predicts allergenicity for 15 birch species

M.F. Schenk, J.H.G. Cordewener, A.H.P. America, J. Peters, M.J.M. Smulders, L.J.W.J. Gilissen

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Pollen of the European and Asian white birch (Betula pendula and B. platyphylla) causes hay fever in humans. The allergenic potency of other birch species is largely unknown. To identify birch trees with a reduced allergenicity, we assessed the immunochemical characteristics of 15 species and two hybrids, representing four subgenera within the genus Betula, while focusing on the major pollen allergen Bet v 1. Antigenic and allergenic profiles of pollen extracts from these species were evaluated by SDS-PAGE and Western blot using pooled sera of birch-allergic individuals. Tryptic digests of the Bet v 1 bands were analyzed by LC-MSE to determine the abundance of various Bet v 1 isoforms. Bet v 1 was the most abundant pollen protein across all birch species. LC-MSE confirmed that pollen of all species contained a mixture of multiple Bet v 1 isoforms. Considerable differences in Bet v 1 isoform composition exist between birch species. However, isoforms that are predicted to have a high IgE-reactivity prevailed in pollen of all species. Immunoblotting confirmed that all pollen extracts were similar in immune-reactivity, implying that pollen of all birch species is likely to evoke strong allergic reactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1290-1300
JournalJournal of Proteomics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • mutational epitope analysis
  • site-directed mutagenesis
  • pollen allergen
  • recombinant allergens
  • phylogenetic-relationships
  • cross-reactivity
  • apple cultivars
  • ige reactivity
  • potential use
  • bet-v-1

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