Anti-idiotypic Fab Fragments Image a Conserved N-terminal Epitope Patch of Grass Pollen Allergen Phl p 1.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


The Open Allergy Journal, Volume 4, p.16-23 (2011)


Naturally occurring anti-idiotypic antibodies structurally mimic the original antibody epitope. Anti-idiotypes, therefore, are interesting tools for the portrayal of conformational B-cell epitopes of allergens. In this study we used this strategy particularly for major timothy grass pollen (Phleum pratense) allergen Phl p 1. We used a combinatorial phage display library constructed from the peripheral IgG repertoire of a grass pollen allergic patient which was supposed to contain anti-idiotypic Fab specificities. Using purified anti-Phl p 1 IgG for biopanning, several Fab displaying phage clones could be isolated. 100 amplified colonies were screened for their binding capacity to anti-Phl p 1-specific antibodies, finally resulting in four distinct Fab clones according to sequence analysis. Interestingly, heavy chains of all clones derived from the same germ line sequence and showed high homology in their CDRs. Projecting their sequence information on the surface of the natural allergen Phl p 1 (PDB ID: 1N10) indicated matches on the N-terminal domain of the homo-dimeric allergen, including the bridging region between the two monomers. The resulting epitope patches were formed by spatially distant sections of the primary allergen sequence. In this study we report that anti-idiotypic specificities towards anti-Phl p 1 IgG, selected from a Fab library of a grass pollen allergic patient, mimic a conformational epitope patch being distinct from a previously reported IgE epitope area.