Int J Biochem Mol Biol 2013;4(2):95-101

Original Article
Evidence of a novel allergenic protein Narcin in the bulbs of Narcissus tazetta

Mau Sinha, Amar Singh, Akshita Shokeen, Pradeep Sharma, Sanket Kaushik, Dipendra K Mitra, Punit Kaur, Sujata Sharma, Tej P Singh

Department of Biophysics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi-110029, India; Department of Transplantation Immunology and
Immunogenetics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Received July 8, 2013; Accepted July 23, 2013; Epub July 29, 2013; Published August 15, 2013

Abstract: Several plant-derived allergens have been identified which result in the formation of immunoglobulin E antibodies. Primarily, these
allergens belong to the protein families including seed storage proteins, structural proteins and pathogenesis-related proteins. Several
allergens are also reported from flower bulbs which cause contact dermatitis. Such symptoms are highly common with the bulb growers
handling different species of Narcissus. Narcissus toxicity is also reported if the bulbs are consumed accidentally. The present study aimed to
characterize the protein from the bulbs of Narcissus tazetta responsible for its allergenic response. A 13 kDa novel allergenic protein, Narcin
was isolated from the bulbs of Narcissus tazetta. The protein was extracted using ammonium sulfate fractionation. The protein was further
purified by anion exchange chromatography followed by gel filtration chromatography. The N-terminal sequence of the first 15 amino-acid
residues was determined using Edman degradation. The allergenicity of the protein was measured by cytokine production using flow cytometry
in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Further estimation of total IgE was performed by ELISA method. This novel protein was found to induce
pro-inflammatory cytokines and thus induce allergy by elevating total IgE level. The novel protein, Narcin isolated from Narcissus tazetta was
found to exhibit allergenic properties. (IJBMB1307002).

Keywords: Allergen, Narcissus tazetta, cytokines, IgE, ELISA, flow cytometry

Address correspondence to: Sujata Sharma, Department of Biophysics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi-110
029 India. Tel: +91-11-2659-4608; Fax: +91-11-2658-8663; E-mail: afrank2@gmail.com; Tej P Singh,  Department of Biophysics, All India
Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi-110 029 India. Tel: +91-11-2658-8931; Fax: +91-11-2658-8663; E-mail:
tpsingh.aiims@gmail.com
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