Cross Reactivity of Phleum pratense, Melaleuca leucadendron and Paspalum notatum Peptides with Monoclonal Antibodies to Group I, Group V, and Group XIII Allergens


Immediate hypersensitivity or Type I reactions, commonly known as allergies, are a major health problem. One of the most common triggers of an allergic reaction is airborne pollen from flowering grasses and trees. In an allergy prone patient, inhalation of the pollen triggers immune cells to react to the foreign peptides of the pollen grain, causing the common symptoms of an allergic response.

Previous studies of patient responsiveness to various peptide allergens have revealed that allergens containing similar amino acid sequences can trigger the same allergic response in a sensitized individual. These similar allergens are called isoallergens. Discovery of isoallergens provides a means through which allergic therapy can be developed to several allergic triggers using only a few peptide sequences.

In this study, proteins from the pollen grains of bahia grass (Paspalum notatum) and the paperbark tree (Melaleuca leucadendron) are analyzed via SD Sp AGE and Western Blotting using monoclonal antibodies specific to Group I, V, and XIII allergens of Timothy grass (Phleum pratense) pollen. The binding of monoclonal antibodies made to timothy group allergens to other grass pollen proteins indicates cross reactivity between timothy and the other grass pollen species. This finding would also suggest that isoallergens exist and are responsible for the cross-reactivity.

Bahia grass pollen proteins, analyzed by Western blotting using timothy monoclonal antibodies, reacted strongly with Group I, V and XIII. Melaleuca grass pollen proteins in contrast reacted only weakly with Group I and XIII monoclonals and showed no reaction with Group V antibodies. These findings indicate that Bahia grass pollen proteins have a high degree of cross reactivity with Timothy grass allergens while Melaleuca has only slight cross reactivity. These findings are consistent with previous sequence similarity studies.


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Thesis Completion





White, Rosann S.


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


Burnett College of Biomedical Sciences

Degree Program

Molecular Biology and Microbiology


Dissertations, Academic -- Health and Public Affairs; Health and Public Affairs -- Dissertations, Academic; Allergy; Bahia grass -- Pollen; Melaleuca; Timothy grass -- Pollen







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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