BACKGROUND: Prawns and shrimp are a frequent cause of seafood allergy mediated by IgE antibodies. Penaeus monodon and Penaeus latisulcatus, commonly known as black tiger prawn and king prawn, respectively, are among the most frequently consumed prawns in Malaysia. The aim of this study was to identify the IgE-binding proteins of these 2 prawn species.
METHODS: Raw and boiled prawn extracts were prepared and then resolved by sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). IgE-immunoblotting was then performed using sera from patients with positive skin prick tests to the raw prawn extracts.
RESULTS: SDS-PAGE analysis of the raw extracts of both prawn species revealed 23 protein bands; the boiled extracts yielded fewer protein bands. The bands in the range of 40 to 100 kDa were sensitive to heat and therefore were not found in the boiled extracts. Immunoblot of raw extracts of black tiger prawns and king prawns yielded 14 and 11 IgE-binding proteins, respectively, with molecular weights of between 15 and 200 kDa. Proteins at 36, 42, and 49 kDa were detected as the major allergens in both species of prawns. A protein of 75 kDa was also identified as a major allergen in black tiger prawns. Other potential allergens were also observed at various molecular masses.
CONCLUSION: Proteins of 36, 42, and 49 kDa were identified as the major allergens of both species of prawns. The 36 and 42 kDa proteins are hypothesised to be tropomyosin and arginine kinase, respectively. A high molecular weight protein of 75 kDa was found to be an additional major allergen in black tiger prawns.
KEYWORDS: Penaeus; allergens; allergy and clinical immunology; hypersensitivity; immunoblotting; tropomyosin
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.