Nucleic Acid and Allergenic Polypeptides Encoded Thereby in Cashew Nuts
Approximately 0.5% of the US population is believed to be allergic to tree nuts and the data from a voluntary registry of peanut and tree nut allergic US patients shows 20% of those reporting allergy to tree nuts list sensitivity to cashews, the highest percentage for any tree nut.
The present invention describes isolated nucleic acid sequences and degenerate variants encoding an Ig-E binding immunogenic polypeptide of cashew. The invention additionally provides an in vitro diagnostic test for detecting anti-cashew IgE in a patient.
The test comprises of reacting the patient's serum with a purified polypeptide, the amino acid sequence of which comprises at least one sequence selected from the isolated nucleic acid sequences; separating the polypeptide from unreacted patient serum; reacting the polypeptide with a labeled human IgE-reactive agent after separating from unreacted patient serum; separating the polypeptide from unreacted labeled human IgE-reactive agent; and detecting labeled human IgE-reactive agent bound to the polypeptide after separating from unreacted agent to thereby indicate presence in the patient's serum of anti-cashew IgE. The present invention thus discloses isolated nucleic acid sequences, polypeptide products thereof, and associated methods. The skilled will recognize that the isolated nucleic acids will be useful at least when expressed in a suitable cell or organism to produce the encoded polypeptides, which in turn may be employed in testing to identify patients allergic to cashew nuts. Furthermore, expression of the nucleic acid sequences of the present invention in a suitable cell may be useful in studying and characterizing gene function.