Ana o 2, a major cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.) nut allergen of the legumin family.

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Wang, F., J.M. Robotham, S.S. Teuber, S.K. Sathe, K.H. Roux, 2003. Ana o 2, a major cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.) nut allergen of the legumin family. Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 132:27–39.

Background: We recently cloned and described a vicilin and showed it to be a major cashew allergen. Additional IgE-reactive cashew peptides of the legumin group and 2S albumin families have also been reported. Here, we attempt to clone, express and characterize a second major cashew allergen. Methods: A cashew cDNA library was screened with human IgE and rabbit IgG anticashew extract antisera, and a reactive nonvicilin clone was sequenced and expressed as a fusion protein in Escherichia coli.  Immunoblotting was used to screen for reactivity with patients’ sera, and inhibition of immunoblotting was used to identify the corresponding native peptides in cashew nut extract. The identified allergen was subjected to linear epitope mapping using SPOTs solid-phase synthetic peptide technology. Results: Sequence analysis showed the selected clone, designated Ana o 2, to encode for a member of the legumin family (an 11S globulin) of seed storage proteins. By IgE immunoblotting, 13 of 21 sera (62%) from cashew-allergic patients were reactive. Immunoblot inhibition data showed that the native Ana o 2 constitutes a major band at approximately 33 kD and a minor band at approximately 53 kD. Probing of overlapping synthetic peptides with pooled human cashew-allergic sera identified 22 reactive peptides, 7 of which gave strong signals. Several Ana o 2 epitopes were shown to overlap those of the peanut legumin group allergen, Ara h 3, in position but with little sequence similarity. Greater positional overlap and identity was observed between Ana o 2 and soybean glycinin epitopes. Conclusions: We conclude that this legumin-like protein is a major allergen in cashew nut.