Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Progress in allergic asthma research after ingestion of fruits

Date:
July 15, 2014
Source:
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Summary:
The interaction between two proteins can be the responsible for the allergic asthma episodes after eating an infected fruit, new research suggests. Alternaria alternata is a fungus that proliferates in fruit and vegetables crops and also when are collected and are on sale for the final consumer. A protein known as Alt a 1 and related to the virulence is found in the spores, this protein is described as the major allergen of this fungus. According to this research, this protein can be a major cause of childhood asthma in U.S.

Computational model of Alt a 1 with the defense protein of kiwifruit and showing the possible interaction zone (color according to the electrostatic potential on the protein surface).
Credit: UPM

Researchers at the UPM suggest that the interaction between two proteins can be the responsible for the allergic asthma episodes after eating an infected fruit.

Related Articles


A research group of the Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics (CBGP) of Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) conducted infection assays of commercial kiwis with Alternaria alternata spores which is a pathogenic fungus involved in chronic asthma in children. Researchers studied the behavior of this fruit and they found that the infected kiwis had the major allergen of the fungus, although symptoms of rot were not seen. This could trigger the involuntary ingestion of the fungus found in this fruit causing an asthmatic crisis in people allergic to Alternaria.

Alternaria alternata is a fungus that proliferates in fruit and vegetables crops and also when are collected and are on sale for the final consumer. A protein known as Alt a 1 and related to the virulence is found in the spores, this protein is described as the major allergen of this fungus. According to this research, this protein can be a major cause of childhood asthma in US.

When a pathogen infects a plant, the defense response is activated producing an increase of certain proteins related to the defense (known as protein 5). Likewise, the fungus increases the production of the proteins involved in attacks or virulence. However, the symptoms of rot by Alternaria alternata are not seen in some fruits, for example, in kiwifruit. All this can cause the involuntary ingestion of the fungus when eating the fruit.

Researchers conducted tests by infecting commercial kiwifruit with spores of Alternaria alternata and they detected the presence of Alt a 1, a protein of fungal virulence. Also, researchers studied how this protein is involved in the activation of defense protein 5 in kiwifruit. Fourteen days after the infection, the kiwifruits showed a regular aspect without apparent development of the fungus, but through tests conducted in lab (microscopy of specific staining fungus and Kiwi proteins) they detected the presence of Alt a 1 in the pulp.

What is more, they observed that this fungal protein is found in the same areas that the defense protein of the kiwifruit. Using computer modeling techniques, they identified a surface area in Alt a 1 susceptible to interact with the defense protein. In that interaction, Alt a 1 is joined to a region of the protein 5 of the kiwifruit causing a remarkable decrease of its defense activity. These results reveal that Alt a 1 is an inhibitor of the defense proteins of family 5 which is particularly important in processes of fungal infection.

Researchers did not observed development of the fungus in kiwifruit, but they indeed detected the presence of its major allergen through specific staining. From health point of view, the presence of Alt a 1 in apparently healthy kiwis is important since Alternaria is described as a major cause of chronic asthma in children. These results suggest that patients allergic to Alternaria can suffer an allergy attack after eating infected kiwifruit.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Cristina Gómez-Casado, Amaya Murua-García, María Garrido-Arandia, Pablo González-Melendi, Rosa Sánchez-Monge, Domingo Barber, Luis F. Pacios, Araceli Díaz-Perales. Alt a 1 from Alternaria interacts with PR5 thaumatin-like proteins. FEBS Letters, 2014; 588 (9): 1501 DOI: 10.1016/j.febslet.2014.02.044

Cite This Page:

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. "Progress in allergic asthma research after ingestion of fruits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140715085049.htm>.
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. (2014, July 15). Progress in allergic asthma research after ingestion of fruits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140715085049.htm
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. "Progress in allergic asthma research after ingestion of fruits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140715085049.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) — The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) — For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Around the World Take Flight

Birds Around the World Take Flight

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 22, 2014) — An imperial eagle equipped with a camera spreads its wings over London. It's just one of the many birds making headlines in this week's "animal roundup". Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
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