Identification and characterization of the major allergens of buckwheat

J. W. Park, D. B. Kang, C. W. Kim, S. H. Ko, H. Y. Yum, K. E. Kim, C. S. Hong, K. Y. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Buckwheat (BW) has been recognized as a common food allergen in Korea, Japan, and other countries. Until now, serologic findings of BW food-allergic patients and its major allergenic components have not been clarified. In this study, we analyzed the serologic findings of BW food allergy and characterized its major allergenic components. Methods: Nineteen BW-allergic subjects with symptoms after BW ingestion and 15 asymptomatic control subjects with positive skin prick test to BW were recruited. BW-specific IgE was measured with the Pharmacia CAP kit. Allergenic components of BW were analyzed by IgE immunoblotting, periodate oxidation, two-dimensonal PAGE, and sequencing of N-terminal amino acids. Results: From the BW-allergic patients and asymptomatic controls, the sensitivity (100%), specificity (53%), and negative (100%) and positive predictive values (73%) of Pharmacia CAP specific IgE for diagnosis were estimated. The prevalence of IgE binding to 24-kDa (pI 8.3), 16-kDa (pI 5.6), and 9-kDa (pI 5.0/6.0) allergens was higher than 50% in BW-allergic and asymptomatic subjects. However, the specific IgE to split 19-kDa (pI 6.5/7.0) allergens were more specifically found in BW-allergic patients than in asymptomatic subjects (78% vs 7%). N-terminal amino-acid sequences of 19-kDa and 16-kDa allergens showed moderate and weak homology to the 19-kDa globulin protein of rice and α-amylase/trypsin inhibitor of millet, respectively. The N-terminus of the 9-kDa isoallergens were not different from each other and were identified as the reported trypsin inhibitors of BW. Attenuation of the IgE binding to the 9-kDa allergen was found with periodate oxidation. Conclusions: The allergens of 24, 19, 16, and 9 kDa are strong candidates to be major allergens, and the 19-kDa allergen was relatively specific for BW-allergic patients. Moreover, measurement of BW-specific IgE and the features of immunoblotting should be very useful tools in the diagnosis of BW allergy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1035-1041
Number of pages7
JournalAllergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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