Allergic reactions to hymenoptera stings are one of the major reasons for IgE-mediated anaphylaxis. However, proper diagnosis using venom extracts is severely affected by molecular cross-reactivity. In this study recombinant honeybee venom major allergen phospholipase A2 (Api m 1) was produced for the first time in insect cells. Using baculovirus infection of different insect cell lines allergen versions providing a varying degree of cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants as well as a non glycosylated variant could be obtained as secreted soluble proteins in high yields. The resulting molecules were analyzed for their glycosylation and proved to show advantageous properties regarding cross-reactivity in sIgE-based assays. Additionally, in contrast to the enzymatically active native protein the inactivated allergen did not induce IgE-independent effector cell activation. Thus, insect cell-derived recombinant Api m 1 with defined CCD phenotypes might provide further insights into hymenoptera venom IgE reactivities and contribute to an improved diagnosis of hymenoptera venom allergy.
Protein and Peptide Letters, 2011, Vol 18, Issue 4, p. 415-422