Immunopharmacology and immunotoxicology

Leucoagglutinating phytohemagglutinin: purification, characterization, proteolytic digestion and assessment for allergenicity potential in BALB/c mice.

PMID 24548135


Red kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) is consumed worldwide as a vegetarian protein source. But, at the same time the allergenicity potential of red kidney bean is a matter of concern. This study is aimed towards purification, characterization, thermal stability, proteolytic digestion and allergenicity assessment of one of the clinically relevant allergens of red kidney bean. The purification of red kidney bean allergic protein was carried out with the help of column chromatography, IgE immunoblotting and reverse phase high-pressure liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC). The purified protein was characterized by peptide mass finger printing (PMF) and studied for its thermal stability, and proteolytic resistance using simulated gastric fluid (SGF) assay. The allergenicity potential of the purified protein was studied in BALB/c mice. The purified protein was identified as leucoagglutinating phytohemagglutinin (PHA-L) with molecular weight 29.5 kDa. The PHA-L showed resistance to heat as well as proteolytic enzyme. Higher levels of total IgE, specific IgE, and histamine were observed in PHA-L treated BALB/c mice when compared to control. Overall, PHA-L possesses characteristics of allergens and may play a potential role in the red kidney bean induced allergy.