Effect of in vitro gastric and duodenal digestion on the allergenicity of grape lipid transfer protein

Emilia Vassilopoulou, Neil Rigby, F. Javier Moreno, Laurian Zuidmeer, Jaap Akkerdaas, Ioannis Tassios, Nikos G. Papadopoulos, Photini Saxoni-Papageorgiou, Ronald van Ree, Clare Mills

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background: Severe grape allergy has been linked to lipid transfer protein (LTP) sensitization. LTPs are known to be resistant to pepsin digestion, although the effect of gastroduodenal digestion on its allergenicity has not been reported. Objective: We sought to investigate the effect of gastric and gastroduodenal digestion on the allergenic activity of grape LTP. Methods: The proteolytic stability of grape LTP was investigated by using an in vitro model of gastrointestinal digestion. The allergenicity of LTP and its digesta was assessed in vitro by means of IgE immunoblotting, RASTs, and in vivo skin prick tests in the same patients with grape allergy. Results: Grape LTP was resistant to gastric digestion, and yielded a 6000-d relative molecular mass C-terminally trimmed fragment after duodenal digestion. This fragment retained the in vitro IgE reactivity of the intact protein. Inclusion of phosphatidylcholine during gastric digestion protected the LTP to a limited extent against digestion. Digestion did not affect the in vivo (skin prick test) biologic activity of LTP. Conclusion: The allergenic activity of grape LTP was highly resistant to in vitro digestion. This property might facilitate sensitization through the gastrointestinal tract and might also potentiate the ability of LTPs to elicit severe allergic reactions in sensitized individuals. Clinical implications: Purified natural allergens will facilitate the development of component-resolved diagnostic approaches, including allergen chips. This study contributes to our understanding of the role digestion plays in symptom elicitation in true food allergy. © 2006 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)473-480
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006


    • basophil histamine release
    • duodenal digestion
    • food allergy
    • gastric digestion
    • Grape
    • lipid transfer protein
    • phosphatidylcholine
    • skin prick testing


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