Patients with persistent egg allergy have more immunoglobulin E (IgE) against sequential than conformational epitopes of ovomucoid (OVO). Here, we aimed to identify compounds capable to render sequential epitopes in egg.Methods and results:
Glutathione was used for in vitro reduction of OVO and circular dichroism analyses were performed. Glutathione reduced OVO in a concentration-dependent manner. Egg white was analyzed for reduced proteins with a thiol probe and by MALDI-TOF/TOF. In unprocessed total egg white, several reduced proteins were detected by the thiol probe, among them reduced ovalbumin could be confirmed with MS analyses.Methods and results:
Egg-allergics or sensitized controls were tested serologically (n = 19) for IgE against native and reduced OVO and in skin prick tests (n = 9). More patients had IgE against reduced than native OVO in Western blots. In skin prick test, five out of seven persistent egg-allergics and none of the controls reacted with reduced OVO.Conclusion:
Reduced egg proteins are present in natural egg white. Glutathione, which is present in egg and furthermore is used as texture-improving additive in processed food, is capable of reducing OVO. Patients with persistent egg allergy reacted rather to reduce the native OVO. Hence, our data indicate that reduction is a novel natural and processing-associated principle, which contributes to the allergenicity of food.