Prediction and Identification of Korean Pine (Pinus koraiensis) Vicilin As a Food
Monday, March 7, 2016
South Exhibit Hall H (Convention Center)
Yuzhu Zhang, Ph.D, Wen-Xian Du, Yuting Fan, Kari C. Nadeau, MD PhD FAAAAI, Tara H McHugh
Rationale: Pine nut allergy cases have been reported, but pine nut allergens remain to be identified and characterized. Korean pine nut is one of the major varieties of pine nuts that are widely consumed. Vicilins belong to one of a few protein families that contain more than 85% of the known food allergens of plant sources. Korean pine vicilin (Pinkv) is likely to be a food allergen.

Methods: Korean pine vicilin was purified from pine nuts. It was also expressed in E. coliand purified. The recognition of the native and recombinant Pinkv by sera from three individuals with pine nut allergy was analyzed by Western blot.

Results: While one of the sera contained very low level of IgE specific to any particular pine nut protein, 66% of the sera recognized both the pine nut purified from nuts and recombinant Pinkv, although they recognized different natural fragments of the native protein.

Conclusions: Although more studies with additional patient sera are required for it to be officially defined, Korean pine vicilin is likely to be a bona fide food allergen. Two of the available patient sera each recognized a single linear IgE epitope located at the boundaries of the natural Pinkv fragments.