T cell epitope-containing hypoallergenic recombinant fragments of the major birch pollen allergen, Bet v 1, induce blocking antibodies

Vrtala S., Akdis C., BUDAK F., Akdis M., Blaser K., Kraft D., ...More

JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY, vol.165, no.11, pp.6653-6659, 2000 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 165 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2000
  • Doi Number: 10.4049/jimmunol.165.11.6653
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.6653-6659
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: No


Allergen-specific immunotherapy represents one of the few curative approaches toward type I allergy. Up to 25% of allergic patients are sensitized against the major birch pollen allergen, Bet v 1, By genetic engineering we produced two recombinant (r) Bet v 1 fragments comprising aa 1-74 and aa 75-160 of Bet v I, which, due to a loss of their native-like fold, failed to bind IgE Abs and had reduced allergenic activity. Here we show that both fragments covering the full Bet v 1 sequence induced human lymphoproliferative responses similar to rBet v 1 wild type. The C-terminal rBet v 1 fragment induced higher lymphoproliferative responses than the N-terminal fragment and represented a Th1-stimulating segment with high IFN-gamma production, whereas the N-terminal fragment induced higher IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13 secretion. Immunization of mire and rabbits with rBet v 1 fragments induced IgG Abs, which cross-reacted with complete Bet v 1 and Bet v 1-related plant allergens and strongly inhibited the IgE binding of allergic patients to these allergens. Thus, our results demonstrate that hypoallergenic T cell epitope containing rBet v 1 fragments, despite lacking IgE epitopes, can induce Abs in vivo that prevent the IgE binding of allergic patients to the wild-type allergen, The overall demonstration of the immunogenic features of the hypoallergenic rBet v I fragments will now enable clinical studies for safer and more efficient specific immunotherapy.