Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Animal Protein Allergies Explained

Date:
October 16, 2007
Source:
Norwich BioScience Institutes
Summary:
New research explains why more people are allergic to cow's milk than horse's milk. The relatedness of an animal food protein to a human protein determines whether it can cause allergy, according to new research. In theory all proteins have the potential to become allergens, but the study found that in practice the ability of animal food proteins to act as allergens depends on their evolutionary distance from a human equivalent.

New research explains why more people are allergic to cow's milk than horse's milk. The relatedness of an animal food protein to a human protein determines whether it can cause allergy, according to new research by scientists from the Institute of Food Research in Norwich and the Medical University of Vienna.

In theory all proteins have the potential to become allergens, but the study found that in practice the ability of animal food proteins to act as allergens depends on their evolutionary distance from a human equivalent.

"This explains why people who are allergic to cow's milk can often tolerate mare's milk but not goat's milk", said Dr Clare Mills of the Institute of Food Research. "Proteins in horse milk are up to 66% identical to human milk proteins, while known allergens from cows and goats are all less than 53% identical to corresponding human proteins.

"Overall we found that only an animal food protein that is less than 54% identical to a human equivalent could become allergenic."

Cow's milk and hen's eggs are common causes of allergy in infants, while the most common animal food allergens in adults are fish and seafood.

For the first time the researchers found that the majority of animal food allergens could be classified into one of three protein families. Tropomyosins, proteins found in muscle tissue, are the most important family.

"Tropomyosins in mammals, fish and birds are at least 90% identical to at least one human tropomyosin and none have been reported to be allergenic. In contrast, the allergenic tropomyosins are all from invertebrates such as insects, crustaceans and nematodes and at most are only 55% identical to the closest human homologue", said Dr Heimo Breiteneder of the Medical University of Vienna.

EF-hand proteins form the second largest animal food allergen family. Those in birds and mammals are not allergenic, while those in frogs and fish can cause allergy. The third animal food allergen family, caseins, are all mammalian proteins from milk. The researchers analysed milk from rabbits, rats and camels as well as sheep, goats, cows and horses.

In previous analyses of plant food allergens published in 2005, the scientists found that most belong to a highly restricted number of protein superfamilies. The research will make it easier to identify new allergens and help explain how they trigger an immune response.

"Animal food proteins lie at the limits of the capability of the human immune system to discriminate between foreign and self proteins", said Dr Mills. "Immune responses to some animal food allergens such as the invertebrate tropomyosins, run close to becoming a form of autoimmune response and this needs to be considered when developing allergy therapies."

Reference: Evolutionary distance from human homologues reflects allergenicity of animal food proteins. John A. Jenkins, Heimo Breiteneder, E. N. Clare Mills. Published online by the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology on October 16 2007.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Norwich BioScience Institutes. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Norwich BioScience Institutes. "Animal Protein Allergies Explained." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071015081742.htm>.
Norwich BioScience Institutes. (2007, October 16). Animal Protein Allergies Explained. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071015081742.htm
Norwich BioScience Institutes. "Animal Protein Allergies Explained." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071015081742.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Ice Age Wooly Mammoth Remains for Sale

Raw: Ice Age Wooly Mammoth Remains for Sale

AP (Sep. 23, 2014) A rare, well-preserved skeleton of a woolly mammoth is going on sale at Summers Place Auctions hope the 11.5-foot tall, almost intact specimen will fetch between $245,000 to $409,000. (Sept. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fox Bites Conn. Student And School Staffers In Rare Attack

Fox Bites Conn. Student And School Staffers In Rare Attack

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) A fox attacked a second-grade boy at a Connecticut elementary school Monday. It also attacked two school staff members and a woman and her dog. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Will Living Glue Be A Thing?

Will Living Glue Be A Thing?

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Using proteins derived from mussels, engineers at MIT have made a supersticky underwater adhesive. They're now looking to make "living glue." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tiger Kills Man at India Zoo

Raw: Tiger Kills Man at India Zoo

AP (Sep. 23, 2014) A white tiger killed a young man who climbed over a fence at the New Delhi zoo and jumped into the animal's enclosure on Tuesday, a spokesman said. (Sept. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins