Identification of tropomyosin and arginine kinase as major allergens of Portunus pelagicus (blue swimming crab)
Crab is an important source of food allergen. Tropomyosin represents the main crab allergen and is responsible for IgE cross-reactivity between various species of crustaceans. Recently, other new crab allergens including arginine kinase have been identified. However, information on allergens of the local Portunidcrab is not available. Thus, the aim of this study was to identify the major allergens of Portunus pelagicus (blue swimming crab) using the allergenomics approach. Raw and cooked extracts of the crab were prepared from the crab meat. Protein profile and IgE binding pattern were demonstrated by sodium dodecyl sulfatepolyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and immunoblotting using sera from 30 patients with crab allergy. The major allergens of the crab were then identified by two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE), followed by mass spectrometry analysis of the peptide digests. The SDS-PAGE of raw extract revealed approximately 20 protein fractions over a wide molecular weight range, while cooked extract demonstrated fewer protein bands. The raw extract also demonstrated a higher number of IgE reactive bands than the cooked extract. A heat-resistant protein of 36 kDa has been identified as the major allergen in both raw and cooked extracts. In addition, a heat-sensitive protein of 41 kDa was also recognized as a major allergen in raw crab. The 2-DE gel profile of the raw extract demonstrated about >100 distinct proteins spots
and immunoblotting of the 2-DE profile demonstrated at least 12 different major IgE reactive spots with molecular masses between 13 to 250 kDa and isoelectric point (pI) values ranging from 4.0 to 7.0. The 36 and 41 kDa proteins were identified as the crab tropomyosin and arginine kinase, respectively by mass spectrometry. Therefore, this study confirmed that tropomyosin and arginine kinase are the major allergens of the local Portunid crab, P. pelagicus.