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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Characterization of Phl p 4, a major timothy grass (Phleum pratense) pollen allergen.

BACKGROUND: Group 4 grass pollen allergens represent glycoproteins with a molecular weight of 50 to 60 kd, which are present in many grass species. Almost 75% of patients allergic to grass pollen display IgE reactivity to group 4 allergens, which hence can be regarded as major grass pollen allergens. OBJECTIVE: In this study attempts were made to obtain information regarding the immunologic properties, localization, and occurrence of Phl p 4 and related allergens. METHODS: Phl p 4 was detected in timothy grass pollen extracts by immunoblotting with serum IgE and monoclonal antibodies and was localized in pollen by immunoelectron microscopy. A peptide sequence from Phl p 4 was obtained by amino acid sequencing. The resistance of Phl p 4 against trypsin was analyzed after trypsin treatment of timothy grass pollen extracts with serum IgE and monoclonal antibodies. Cross-reactivities between Phl p 4 and Amb a 1, the major allergen of ragweed, were studied by using monoclonal antibodies and by IgE- inhibition studies. RESULTS: Phl p 4 was characterized as a trypsin-resistant major timothy grass pollen allergen. By immunoelectron microscopy Phl p 4 was localized in the exine, cytoplasm, and amyloplast of timothy grass pollen. significant sequence similarities of a Phl p 4 10 amino acid peptide with Amb a 1, the major ragweed allergen, could be found. The immunologic similarity of Phl p 4 and Amb a 1 was confirmed by cross-reactivity of monoclonal antibodies and patients' IgE. CONCLUSION: Phl p 4 represents a trypsin-resistant major timothy grass pollen allergen with immunologic similarities to the major ragweed allergen Amb a 1 and therefore must be considered an important cross-reactive component in grass pollen and weed pollen allergy.[1]


  1. Characterization of Phl p 4, a major timothy grass (Phleum pratense) pollen allergen. Fischer, S., Grote, M., Fahlbusch, B., Müller, W.D., Kraft, D., Valenta, R. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. (1996) [Pubmed]
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