Genetic engineering of a hypoallergenic trimer of the major birch pollen allergen Bet v 1.

S. Vrtala, K. Hirtenlehner, M. Susani, M. Akdis, F. Kussebi, C. A. Akdis, K. Blaser, P. Hufnagl, B. R. Binder, A. Politou, A. Pastore, L. Vangelista, W. R. Sperr, H. Semper, P. Valent, C. Ebner, D. Kraft, R. Valenta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Citations (Scopus)


An estimated 100 million individuals suffer from birch pollen allergy. Specific immunotherapy, the only curative allergy treatment, can cause life-threatening anaphylactic side effects. Here, we report the genetic engineering of a recombinant trimer consisting of three covalently linked copies of the major birch pollen allergen, Bet v 1. The trimer exhibited profoundly reduced allergenic activity but contained similar secondary structures such as Bet v 1 wild type, Bet v 1-specific B cell and T-cell epitopes, and induced Th1 cytokine release. As immunogen, rBet v 1 trimer induced IgG antibodies, which blocked patients' IgE binding to Bet v 1 and related allergens. Thus, rBet v 1 trimer represents a novel hypoallergenic vaccine prototype for treatment of one of the most frequent allergy forms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2045-2047
Number of pages3
JournalThe FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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