All three subunits of soybean beta-conglycinin are potential food allergens.
ABSTRACT Soybeans are recognized as one of the "big 8" food allergens. IgE antibodies from soybean-sensitive patients recognize more than 15 soybean proteins. Among these proteins only the alpha-subunit of beta-conglycinin, but not the highly homologous alpha'- and beta-subunits, has been shown to be a major allergenic protein. The objective of this study was to examine if the alpha'- and beta-subunits of beta-conglycinin can also serve as potential allergens. Immunoblot analysis using sera collected from soybean-allergic patients revealed the presence of IgE antibodies that recognized several soy proteins including 72, 70, 52, 34, and 21 kDa proteins. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF) analysis of trypsin-digested 72, 70, and 52 kDa proteins indicated that these proteins were the alpha'-, alpha-, and beta-subunits of beta-conglycinin, respectively. Additionally, purified alpha'-, alpha-, and beta-subunits of beta-conglycinin were recognized by IgE antibodies present in the soybean-allergic patients. The IgE reactivity to the beta-subunit of beta-conglycinin was not abolished when this glycoprotein was either deglycosylated using glycosidases or expressed as a recombinant protein in Escherichia coli . The results suggest that in addition to the previously recognized alpha-subunit of beta-conglycinin, the alpha'- and beta-subunits of beta-conglycinin also are potential food allergens.
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ABSTRACT: Quality and safety control and the validation of origin are hot issues in the production of food and its distribution, and are of primary concern to food and agriculture organization. Modern mass spectrometry (MS) provides unique, reliable and affordable methodologies to approach with a high degree of scientificity any problem which may be posed in this field. In this review the contribution of mass spectrometry to food analysis is presented aiming at providing clues on the fundamental role of the basic principles of gas-phase ion chemistry in applied research fields. Applications in proteomics, allergonomics, glycomics, metabolomics, lipidomics, food safety and traceability have been surveyed. The high level of specificity and sensitivity of the MS approach allows the characterization of food components and contaminants present at ultra-trace levels, providing a distinctive and safe validation of the products.European Journal of Mass Spectrometry 01/2011; 17(1):1-31. · 1.21 Impact Factor