Heimo Breiteneder

Vienna General Hospital, Wien, Vienna, Austria

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Publications (258)1255.8 Total impact

  • Merima Bublin, Heimo Breiteneder
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    ABSTRACT: Peanut allergy is an IgE-mediated, persisting immune disorder that is of major concern worldwide. Currently, no routine immunotherapy is available to treat this often severe and sometimes fatal food allergy. Traditional subcutaneous allergen immunotherapy with crude peanut extracts has proven not feasible due to the high risk of severe systemic side effects. The allergen-specific approaches under preclinical and clinical investigation comprise subcutaneous, oral, sublingual and epicutaneous immunotherapy with whole-peanut extracts as well as applications of hypoallergenic peanut allergens or T cell epitope peptides. Allergen-nonspecific approaches include monoclonal anti-IgE antibodies, TCM herbal formulations and Toll-like receptor 9-based immunotherapy. The potential of genetically engineered plants with reduced allergen levels is being explored as well as the beneficial influence of lactic acid bacteria and soybean isoflavones on peanut allergen-induced symptoms. Although the underlying mechanisms still need to be elucidated, several of these strategies hold great promise. It can be estimated that individual strategies or a combination thereof will result in a successful immunotherapy regime for peanut-allergic individuals within the next decade. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    International Archives of Allergy and Immunology 12/2014; 165(3):179-194. · 2.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Birch pollen-associated plant food allergy is caused by Bet v 1-specific IgE, but presence of cross-reactive IgE to related allergens does not predict food allergy. The role of other immunoglobulin isotypes in the birch pollen-plant food syndrome has not been investigated in detail.Methods Bet v 1-sensitised birch pollen-allergic patients (n = 35) were diagnosed for food allergy by standardised interviews, skin prick tests, prick-to-prick tests and ImmunoCAP. Concentrations of allergen-specific IgE, IgG1, IgG4 and IgA to seven Bet v 1-related food allergens were determined by ELISA.ResultsBet v 1, Cor a 1, Mal d 1 and Pru p 1 bound IgE from all and IgG4 and IgA from the majority of sera. Immunoglobulins to Gly m 4, Vig r 1 and Api g 1.01 were detected in less than 65% of the sera. No significant correlation was observed between plant food allergy and increased or reduced levels of IgE, IgG1, IgG4 or IgA specific for most Bet v 1-related allergens. Api g 1-specific IgE was significantly (p = 0.01) elevated in celeriac-allergic compared to celeriac-tolerant patients. Likewise, frequencies of IgE (71% versus 15%; p = 0.01) and IgA (86% versus 38%; p = 0.04) binding to Api g 1.01 were increased.Conclusion Measurements of allergen-specific immunoglobulins are not suitable for diagnosing Bet v 1-mediated plant food allergy to hazelnut and Rosaceae fruits. In contrast, IgE and IgA to the distantly related allergen Api g 1 correlate with allergy to celeriac.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Allergy 10/2014; · 6.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Beta-parvalbumins from different fish species have been identified as the main elicitors of IgE-mediated reactions in fish-allergic individuals. Here, we report for the first time the NMR determination of the structure and dynamics of the major Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) allergen Gad m 1 and compare them with other known parvalbumins. Although the Gad m 1 structure and accessibility of putative IgE epitopes are similar to parvalbumins in mackerel and carp, the charge distribution at the putative epitopes is different. The determination of the Gad m 1 structure contributes to a better understanding of cross-reactivity among fish parvalbumins. In addition, the high-pressure NMR and temperature variation experiments revealed the important contribution of the AB motif and other regions to the protein folding. This structural information could assist the future identification of hot spots for targeted mutations to develop hypoallergenic Ca2+-free forms for potential use in immunotherapy. © Proteins 2014;. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Proteins Structure Function and Bioinformatics 08/2014; · 3.34 Impact Factor
  • Merima Bublin, Thomas Eiwegger, Heimo Breiteneder
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    ABSTRACT: Allergic sensitization is a multifactorial process that is not only influenced by the allergen and its biological function per se but also by other small molecular compounds, such as lipids, that are directly bound as ligands by the allergen or are present in the allergen source. Several members of major allergen families bind lipid ligands through hydrophobic cavities or electrostatic or hydrophobic interactions. These allergens include certain seed storage proteins, Bet v 1-like and nonspecific lipid transfer proteins from pollens and fruits, certain inhalant allergens from house dust mites and cockroaches, and lipocalins. Lipids from the pollen coat and furry animals and the so-called pollen-associated lipid mediators are codelivered with the allergens and can modulate the immune responses of predisposed subjects by interacting with the innate immune system and invariant natural killer T cells. In addition, lipids originating from bacterial members of the pollen microbiome contribute to the outcome of the sensitization process. Dietary lipids act as adjuvants and might skew the immune response toward a TH2-dominated phenotype. In addition, the association with lipids protects food allergens from gastrointestinal degradation and facilitates their uptake by intestinal cells. These findings will have a major influence on how allergic sensitization will be viewed and studied in the future.
    Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 05/2014; · 11.25 Impact Factor
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    Merima Bublin, Heimo Breiteneder
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    ABSTRACT: Peanut seeds are currently widely used as source of human food ingredients in the United States of America and in European countries due to their high quality protein and oil content. This article describes the classification and molecular biology of peanut seed allergens with particular reference to their cross-reactivities. Currently, the IUIS allergen nomenclature subcommittee accepts 12 peanut allergens. Two allergens belong to the cupin and four to the prolamin superfamily, and six are distributed among profilins, Bet v 1-like proteins, oleosins, and defensins. Clinical observations frequently report an association of peanut allergy with allergies to legumes, tree nuts, seeds, fruits and pollen. Molecular cross-reactivity has been described between members of the Bet v 1-like proteins, the non-specific lipid transfer proteins, and the profilins. This review also addresses the less well-studied cross-reactivity between cupin and prolamin allergens of peanuts and of other plant food sources and the recently discovered cross-reactivity between peanut allergens of unrelated protein families.
    Current Allergy and Asthma Reports 04/2014; 14(4):426. · 2.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The IUIS Allergen Nomenclature Sub-Committee, under the auspices of the World Health Organization and the International Union of Immunological Societies, maintains the systematic nomenclature of allergenic proteins and publishes a database of approved allergen names on its Web site, www.allergen.org. In this paper, we summarize updates of allergen names approved at the meetings of the committee in 2011 through 2013. These changes reflect recent progress in identification, cloning, and sequencing of allergens. The goals of this update were to increase consistency in the classification of allergens, isoallergens, and variants and in the incorporation of the evolutionary classification of proteins into allergen nomenclature, while keeping changes of established names to a minimum in the interest of continuity. Allergens for which names have been updated include respiratory allergens from birch and ragweed pollen, midge larvae, and horse dander; food allergens from peanut, cow's milk, and tomato; and cereal grain allergens. The IUIS Allergen Nomenclature Sub-Committee encourages researchers to use these updated allergen names in future publications.
    Allergy 04/2014; 69(4):413-9. · 6.00 Impact Factor
  • Heimo Breiteneder, Rudolf Valenta
    Methods 03/2014; 66(1):1-2. · 3.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Characterization of IgE-binding epitopes of allergens and determination of their patient-specific relevance is crucial for the diagnosis and treatment of allergy. We sought to assess the contribution of specific surface areas of the major birch pollen allergen Bet v 1.0101 to binding IgE of individual patients. Four distinct areas of Bet v 1 representing in total 81% of its surface were grafted onto the scaffold of its homolog, Api g 1.0101, to yield the chimeras Api-Bet-1 to Api-Bet-4. The chimeras were expressed in Escherichia coli and purified. IgE binding of 64 sera from Bet v 1-sensitized subjects with birch pollen allergy was determined by using direct ELISA. Specificity was assessed by means of inhibition ELISA. rApi g 1.0101, Api-Bet-1, Api-Bet-2, Api-Bet-3, and Api-Bet-4 bound IgE from 44%, 89%, 80%, 78%, and 48% of the patients, respectively. By comparing the amount of IgE binding to the chimeras and to rApi g 1.0101, 81%, 70%, 75%, and 45% of the patients showed significantly enhanced IgE binding to Api-Bet-1, Api-Bet-2, Api-Bet-3, and Api-Bet-4, respectively. The minority (8%) of the sera revealed enhanced IgE binding exclusively to a single chimera, whereas 31% showed increased IgE binding to all 4 chimeras compared with rApi g 1.0101. The chimeras inhibited up to 70% of IgE binding to rBet v 1.0101, confirming the specific IgE recognition of the grafted regions. The Bet v 1-specific IgE response is polyclonal, and epitopes are spread across the entire Bet v 1 surface. Furthermore, the IgE recognition profile of Bet v 1 is highly patient specific.
    The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 02/2014; · 12.05 Impact Factor
  • European Journal of Integrative Medicine 02/2014; 6(1):132. · 0.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: SINI TANG (SNT) IS A TRADITIONAL CHINESE HERBAL FORMULA CONSISTING OF FOUR DIFFERENT HERBS: the root of Aconitum carmichaelii, the bark of Cinnamomum cassia, the rhizome of Zingiber officinale, and the root of Glycyrrhiza uralensis. This study aims to evaluate the improvement of early ventricular remodeling and cardiac function in myocardial infarction (MI) rats by SNT. A MI model was established by ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery. Following treatment for 4 weeks, ultrasonic echocardiography was performed. Myocardial histopathological changes were observed using haematoxylin and eosin staining. Collagens (type I and type III), transforming growth factor- β 1 (TGF- β 1), and Toll-like receptors (TLR-2 and TLR-4) were measured in plasma, serum, and myocardial tissue. SNT treatment decreased the infarct size, the left ventricular cavity area/heart cavity area ratio, and the left ventricle dimension at end systole and increased the left ventricular ejection fraction. SNT reduced the levels of TLR-2 and TLR-4 in myocardial tissue significantly and decreased the collagens content in serum and in myocardial tissue. SNT could partially reduce the level of TGF- β 1 in serum and in myocardial tissue. Our data suggest that the Chinese medicine formula SNT has the potential to improve early ventricular remodeling and cardiac function after MI.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2014; 2014:141938. · 2.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-inflammatory profiling of the Chinese herbal formula Sini Tang (SNT) in myocardial infarction (MI) rats. SNT, a decoction consisting of four herbs: Aconitum carmichaelii, Cinnamomum cassia, Zingiber officinale, and Glycyrrhiza uralensis, was characterized as a remedy to treat syndromes corresponding to heart failure and MI in China. Potential biomarkers, which reflect the extent of myocardial necrosis and correlate with cardiac outcomes following MI, such as atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), and proinflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor- α , interleukin-6, and interleukin-1 β (TNF- α , IL-6, and IL-1 β ) were determined in plasma, serum, and in myocardial tissue of MI rats after treatment with SNT. Our data indicate that SNT decreased significantly the levels of hs-CRP, TNF- α , IL-6, and IL-1 β in MI rats. SNT decreased the expression of ANP levels in plasma and increased the vascular active marker nitric oxide, which limits vascular inflammation. In addition, SNT could decrease the expression of endothelin-1 levels in rat plasma post-MI. Our data suggest that the Chinese herbal formula SNT has the potential to improve cardiac function after MI. SNT may be a candidate for treating MI and its associated inflammatory responses.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2014; 2014:309378. · 2.18 Impact Factor
  • Clinical and Translational Allergy. 01/2014; 4(Suppl 2):P45.
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    ABSTRACT: Allergy diagnosis based on purified allergen molecules provides detailed information regarding the individual sensitization profile of allergic patients, allows monitoring of the development of allergic disease and of the effect of therapies on the immune response to individual allergen molecules. Allergen microarrays contain a large variety of allergen molecules and thus allow the simultaneous detection of allergic patients' antibody reactivity profiles towards each of the allergen molecules with only minute amounts of serum. In this article we summarize recent progress in the field of allergen microarray technology and introduce the MeDALL allergen-chip which has been developed for the specific and sensitive monitoring of IgE and IgG reactivity profiles towards more than 170 allergen molecules in sera collected in European birth cohorts. MeDALL is a European research program in which allergen microarray technology is used for the monitoring of the development of allergic disease in childhood, to draw a geographic map of the recognition of clinically relevant allergens in different populations and to establish reactivity profiles which are associated with and predict certain disease manifestations. We describe technical advances of the MeDALL allergen-chip regarding specificity, sensitivity and its ability to deliver test results which are close to in vivo reactivity. In addition, the usefulness and numerous advantages of allergen-microarrays for allergy research, refined allergy diagnosis, monitoring of disease, of the effects of therapies, for improving the prescription of specific immunotherapy and for prevention are discussed.
    Methods 10/2013; · 3.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Birch pollen associated allergy to mung bean sprouts is caused by cross-reactivity between the birch pollen allergen Bet v 1 and the mung bean allergen Vig r 1. We aimed to determine the allergenicity of the cytokinin-specific binding protein from mung bean (Vig r 6), another allergen related to Bet v 1 with only 31% sequence identity. Bet v 1, Gly m 4, Vig r 1, and Vig r 6 were produced in Escherichia coli. In an ELISA, 73 and 32% of Bet v 1-sensitized birch-allergic patients' sera (n = 60) showed IgE binding to Vig r 1 and Vig r 6, respectively. Of 19 patients who reported allergic reactions or had positive prick-to-prick tests to mung bean sprouts, 79% showed IgE binding to Vig r 1 and 63% showed IgE binding to Vig r 6. Bet v 1 completely inhibited IgE binding to both mung bean allergens. Vig r 6 showed partial cross-reactivity with Vig r 1 and activated basophils sensitized with mung bean allergic patients' sera. We demonstrated IgE cross-reactivity despite low sequence identity between Vig r 6 and other Bet v 1-related allergens. Thus, IgE binding to Vig r 6 may contribute to birch pollinosis-associated mung bean sprout allergy.
    Molecular Nutrition & Food Research 09/2013; · 4.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The allergen Act d 11, also known as kirola, is a 17kDa protein expressed in large amounts in ripe green and yellow-fleshed kiwifruit. Ten percent of all kiwifruit-allergic individuals produce IgE specific for the protein. Using X-ray crystallography, we determined the first three-dimensional structures of Act d 11, produced from both recombinant expression in Escherichia coli and from the natural source (kiwifruit). While Act d 11 is immunologically correlated with the birch pollen allergen Bet v 1 and other members of the pathogenesis-related protein family 10 (PR-10), it has low sequence similarity to PR-10 proteins. By sequence Act d 11 appears instead to belong to the major latex/ripening-related (MLP/RRP) family, but analysis of the crystal structures shows that Act d 11 has a fold very similar to that of Bet v 1 and other PR-10 related allergens regardless of the low sequence identity. The structures of both the natural and recombinant protein include an unidentified ligand, which is relatively small (about 250Da by mass spectrometry experiments) and most likely contains an aromatic ring. The ligand-binding cavity in Act d 11 is also significantly smaller than those in PR-10 proteins. The binding of the ligand, which we were not able to unambiguously identify, results in conformational changes in the protein that may have physiological and immunological implications. Interestingly, the residue corresponding to Glu45 in Bet v 1 (Glu46), which is important for IgE binding to the birch pollen allergen, is conserved in Act d 11, even though it is not in other allergens with significantly higher sequence identity to Bet v 1. We suggest that the so-called Gly-rich loop (or P-loop), which is conserved in all PR-10 allergens, may be responsible for IgE cross-reactivity between Bet v 1 and Act d 11.
    Molecular Immunology 08/2013; 56(4):794-803. · 3.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sini Tang (SNT, ) is a traditional Chinese herbal formulation consisting of three different herbs: Aconitum carmichaelii (Fuzi, ), Zingiber officinale (Ganjiang, ), and Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Gancao, ). For this study, we modified this mixture by adding the bark of Cinnamomum cassia (Rougui, ). A. carmichaelii contains aconitine and its derivatives, all of which are highly toxic alkaloids. These compounds are commonly detoxified with pyrolytic and hydrolytic pretreatments, such as Heishunpian (), which requires repeated soaking in salt water, boiling until the roots turn black, and drying in the oven. We now demonstrate that G. uralensis, which is often used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for detoxification, reduces the concentration of free aconitine in decoctions by forming a complex between liquiritin and aconitine. Aqueous extracts of SNT, each individual herb or herbal mixture, and methanolic extracts of individual herbs were tested for free aconitine by HPLC coupled with a diode array detector. A detected complex was investigated by NMR and UV/Vis spectroscopy. The continuous variations method and (1)H-NMR titrations provided the complex stoichiometry and binding constant. A 2D-ROESY experiment was performed to obtain the structural details of the formed complex. A fast and simple HPLC method was developed to determine the amounts of aconitine and its derivatives found in herbal extracts. The Heishunpian pretreatment led to nearly complete pyrolysis and hydrolysis of the toxic compounds. However, in some batches, considerable amounts of aconitine remained. The addition of G. uralensis to A. carmichaelii, or liquiritin to free aconitine, led to a complexation with aconitine. The complex possessed a 1:1 stoichiometry and a binding constant of ca. 3000 to 4000L/mol in mixtures of aqueous methanol. A new HPLC based method allows the concentration of toxic aconitine and other diester diterpene alkaloids in herbal extracts to be rapidly determined. This method provides a starting point for the development of routine quality control procedures. The complexation of free aconitine by adding an excess of G. uralensis or free liquiritin to SNT formulations will make these formulations safer.
    Journal of ethnopharmacology 07/2013; · 2.32 Impact Factor
  • International Investigative Dermatology 2013, Edimburgh; 05/2013
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    ABSTRACT: SCOPE: Manioc (Manihot esculenta) is a tuber mainly consumed in the Southern Hemisphere and used worldwide by food and chemistry industry. We aimed to recombinantly produce and characterize the first manioc allergen and evaluate its IgE reactivity in sera of Brazilian and Italian patients. METHODS AND RESULTS: The molecule, termed Man e5, was expressed in E. coli, characterized by amino acid analysis, mass spectrometry, circular dichroism, HPLC, and dynamic light scattering. A tertiary structural model of the protein was produced using bioinformatics and susceptibility to pepsin digestion was analyzed in vitro. Based on its high content of charged residues, heat stability, flexibility and lack of secondary structure elements, the allergen was determined a member of the intrinsically disordered protein family. Brazilian patients were selected based on manioc allergy and Italians based on latex allergy and sensitization to Hev b 5.71% of Brazilians and 40% of Italians were in vitro IgE positive to Man e5. Cross-inhibition assays suggest a possible involvement of this allergen in the latex-fruit syndrome. CONCLUSION: Man e5, the first purified allergen from manioc demonstrates IgE cross-reactivity with Hev b 5. Data suggest Hev b 5 might act as primary sensitizer and could therefore lead to allergic manifestations upon manioc consumption without prior exposition.
    Molecular Nutrition & Food Research 03/2013; · 4.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Ara h 1, a vicilin; Ara h 2, a 2S albumin; and Ara h 3, a legumin, are major peanut allergens. Ara h 2 is an important predictor of clinical reactivity to peanut, but cosensitization to all 3 allergens is correlated with the severity of patients' symptoms. OBJECTIVE: We investigated whether cosensitization to these 3 allergens is caused by IgE cross-reactivity, despite the fact that they do not display obvious structural or sequence similarities. METHODS: IgE cross-inhibitions were performed with purified Ara h 1, Ara h 2, and Ara h 3 and IgG-depleted sera from 10 patients with peanut allergy. After an in silico search for similar peptides, IgE ELISA inhibition assays with synthetic peptides were performed. RESULTS: Ara h 2 inhibited IgE binding to Ara h 1 (average, 86% ± 13%) and Ara h 3 (average, 96% ± 6%). IgE binding to Ara h 2 was inhibited by Ara h 1 by 78% ± 15% and by Ara h 3 by 80% ± 6%. A subsequent sequence comparison showed that these nonhomologous allergens contained several similar surface-exposed peptides. IgE binding to Ara h 2-derived peptides was completely inhibited by Ara h 1 and Ara h 3. A mixture of these peptides reduced IgE binding to Ara h 1 and Ara h 3 by 20% to 60% and to Ara h 2 by 49% to 89%. CONCLUSION: Occurrence of similar sequences in the 3 major peanut allergens accounts for the high extent of cross-reactivity among them.
    The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 03/2013; · 12.05 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

8k Citations
1,255.80 Total Impact Points


  • 2004–2014
    • Vienna General Hospital
      Wien, Vienna, Austria
  • 1998–2014
    • Medical University of Vienna
      • • Department of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research
      • • Zentrum für Pathophysiologie, Infektiologie und Immunologie
      Wien, Vienna, Austria
    • Colorado State University
      • Department of Biology
      Fort Collins, CO, United States
  • 2011–2013
    • University of Virginia
      • Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics
      Charlottesville, VA, United States
  • 2008
    • Institute of Food Research
      Norwich, England, United Kingdom
  • 2007
    • Indoor Biotechnologies Inc
      Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
  • 1996–2007
    • University of Salzburg
      • • Christian Doppler Laboratory for Allergy Diagnosis and Therapy
      • • Division of Chemistry and Bioanalysis
      Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
  • 2005
    • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
      Swindon, England, United Kingdom
    • IST Austria
      Klosterneuberg, Lower Austria, Austria
    • Wageningen University
      • Plant Research International
      Wageningen, Provincie Gelderland, Netherlands
  • 1987–2005
    • University of Vienna
      • Clinic for Internal Medicine I
      Wien, Vienna, Austria
  • 2003
    • Universität Basel
      Bâle, Basel-City, Switzerland
  • 2001
    • Institut Pasteur de Lille
      Lille, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
    • University of Zurich
      Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2000
    • Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin
      • Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pneumonology and Immunology
      Berlin, Land Berlin, Germany
  • 1994
    • The University of Arizona
      • Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (College of Science)
      Tucson, AZ, United States