OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to clone and express Hev b 3 and to obtain the immunologic active and soluble recombinant allergen for diagnosis of SB-associated latex allergy.
METHODS: A complementary DNA (cDNA) coding for Hev b 3 was amplified from RNA of fresh latex collected from Malaysian rubber trees (Hevea brasiliensis). PCR primers were designed according to sequences of internal peptide fragments of natural (n) Hev b 3. The 5'-end sequence was obtained by specific amplification of cDNA ends. The recombinant (r) Hev b 3 was produced in Escherichia coli as a 6xHis tagged protein. Immunoblotting and inhibition assays were performed to characterize the recombinant allergen.
RESULTS: An Hev b 3 cDNA clone of 922 bp encoding a protein of 204 amino acid residues corresponding to a molecular weight of 22.3 kd was obtained. In immunoblots 29/35, latex-allergic patients with SB revealed IgE binding to rHev b 3, as did 4 of 15 of the latex-sensitized group. The presence of all IgE epitopes on rHev b 3 was shown by its ability to abolish all IgE binding to nHev b 3. Hev b 3 is related to Hev b 1 by a sequence identity of 47%. Cross-reactivity between these 2 latex allergens was illustrated by the large extent of inhibition of IgE binding to nHev b 1 by rHev b 3.
CONCLUSION: rHev b 3 constitutes a suitable in vitro reagent for the diagnosis of latex allergy in patients with SB. The determination of the full sequence of Hev b 3 and the production of the recombinant allergen will allow the epitope mapping and improve diagnostic reagents for latex allergy.