Cross-reactivity between allergens and human proteins could have a clinical impact in allergic diseases. Blo t 13 is an allergen from the mite Blomia tropicalis, which belongs to the fatty acid binding protein (FABP) family and has structural homology with human FABPs. This work aimed to map B cell epitopes on Blo t 13 and to identify epitopes involved in cross-reactivity with human heart FABP (FABP3) and adipocyte FABP (FABP4). Sera from 25 patients with house dust mite (HDM) allergy that were sensitized to Blo t 13 were used for testing the reactivity of immunoglobulin E (IgE) and IgG to FABP. The epitope mapping of Blo t 13 was performed using overlapping peptides, and cross-reactivity between Blo t 13 and human FABP was analyzed using human sera and anti-Blo t 13 monoclonal antibodies. IgE antibodies to all FABPs were detected in 14/25 serum samples, and IgG was detected in 25/25 serum samples. The cross-reactivity of Blo t 13 was 42% with FABP3 and 48% with FABP4. Two IgE-binding regions were identified in Blo t 13; one between residues 54 and 72 (the main cross-reacting region) and another between residues 111 to 129. Our results suggest that exposure to the Blo t 13 allergen could induce an auto-reactive response to endogenous FABP in allergic patients sensitized to Blo t 13.
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