The C-terminal segment of the 1,3-beta-glucanase Ole e 9 from olive (Olea europaea) pollen is an independent domain with allergenic activity: expression in Pichia pastoris and characterization. (1/195)

Several allergenic proteins, such as the 1,3-beta-glucanases, have been associated with plant defence responses. Ole e 9 (46 kDa) is a 1,3-beta-glucanase and major allergen from olive pollen, which is a principal cause of allergy in Mediterranean countries. Its C-terminal segment (101 amino acid residues) has been produced as a recombinant polypeptide in the yeast Pichia pastoris. The cDNA encoding the polypeptide was inserted into the plasmid vector pPICZalpha-A and overexpressed in KM71 yeast cells. The recombinant product was purified by size-exclusion chromatography followed by reversed-phase HPLC. Edman degradation, MS and CD were used to determine molecular properties of the recombinant polypeptide, which exhibited 16% alpha-helix and 30% beta-sheet as regular elements of secondary structure. Disulphide bridges of the molecule were determined at positions Cys-14-Cys-76, Cys-33-Cys-94 and Cys-39-Cys-48. The high IgE-binding capability of the recombinant C-terminal segment of Ole e 9 against sera from Ole e 9-sensitive individuals, which was determined by immunoblotting and ELISA inhibition, supported the proper folding of the polypeptide and the maintenance of antigenic properties that it exhibits as a part of the whole allergen. These data indicated that this portion of Ole e 9 constitutes an independent domain, which could be used to study its three-dimensional structure and function, as well as for clinical purposes such as diagnosis and specific immunotherapy. Since it shows sequence similarity with portions of 1,3-beta-glucanases from plant tissues and the Gas/Phr/Epd protein families involved in yeast morphogenesis, we suggest that this domain could play an equivalent functional role within these enzymes.  (+info)

Structural differentiation of uronosyl substitution patterns in acidic heteroxylans by electrospray tandem mass spectrometry. (2/195)

The structures of two oligomers of acidic xylo-oligosaccharides (XOS) of the same molecular weight (634 Da), Xyl(2)MeGlcAHex and Xyl(2)GlcA(2) were differentiated by electrospray tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS). These oligomers were present in a mixture of XOS obtained by acid hydrolysis of heteroxylans extracted from Eucalyptus globulus wood (Xyl(2)MeGlcAHex) and Olea europaea olive fruit (Xyl(2)GlcA(2)). In the ESI-MS spectra of the XOS, ions at m/z 657 and 652 were observed and assigned to [M + Na](+) and [M + NH(4)](+), respectively. The ESI-MS/MS spectrum of [M + Na](+) ion of Xyl(2)MeGlcAHex showed the loss of Hex residue from the reducing end followed by the loss of MeGlcA moiety. Simultaneously, the loss of a Xyl residue from either the reducing or the non-reducing ends was detected. On the other hand, the fragmentation of Xyl(2)GlcA(2) occurs mainly by the loss of one and two GlcA residues or by the loss of the GlcAXyl moiety, due to the glycosidic bond cleavage between the two Xyl residues. Loss of one and two CO(2) molecules was only observed for this oligomer, where the GlcA are in vicinal Xyl residues. The ESI-MS/MS spectra of [M + NH(4)](+) of both oligomers showed the loss of NH(3), resulting in the protonated molecule, where the presence of ions assigned as protonated molecules of aldobiuronic acid residues, [MeGlcA - Xyl + H](+) and [GlcA - Xyl + H](+), are diagnostic ions of the presence of MeGlcA and GlcA moieties in XOS. Since these structures occur in small amounts in complex acidic XOS mixtures and are very difficult, if possible, to isolate, tandem mass spectrometry revealed to be a powerful tool for the characterization of these types of substitution patterns present in heteroxylans.  (+info)

Allozyme variation of oleaster populations (wild olive tree) (Olea europaea L.) in the Mediterranean Basin. (3/195)

As a result of the early domestication and extensive cultivation of the olive tree throughout the Mediterranean Basin, the wild-looking forms of olive (oleasters) presently observed constitute a complex, potentially ranging from wild to feral forms. Allozyme variation was analysed at 10 loci in 31 large and 44 small oleaster populations distributed in various habitats of the Mediterranean Basin and in two populations of the wild subspecies Olea europaea subsp (ssp) guanchica, endemic to the Canary islands and closely related to oleasters. At eight polymorphic loci, 25 alleles were identified. Genetic evidence that nondomesticated oleasters still survive locally was provided by the occurrence of four and one alleles shared exclusively by the eight western and two eastern oleaster populations, respectively, which were collected in forests potentially containing genuinely wild forms according to environmental, historical and demographic criteria. As reported previously from cytoplasmic and RAPDs analysis, substantial genetic differentiation was observed between the eastern oleaster populations genetically close to most olive clones cultivated in the Mediterranean Basin, and the western populations that are related to the wild Canarian populations. In addition, the occurrence of significantly lower heterozygosity in cultivated olive than in oleasters, whatever their origin, suggests that intensive selection involving inbreeding has taken place under cultivation to obtain particular characteristics in the olive cultivars.  (+info)

A major allergen from pollen defines a novel family of plant proteins and shows intra- and interspecies [correction of interspecie] cross-reactivity. (4/195)

Olive tree (Olea europaea) pollen is a main cause of allergy associated with extensive areas of Europe and North America. Ole e 10, a small (10.8 kDa) and acidic (pI 5.8) protein, has been identified as a major allergen from the olive pollen, isolated, and characterized. Circular dichroism analysis gave 17% alpha helix, 33% beta sheet, and 21% beta turn for its secondary structure. Based on amino acid sequences of tryptic peptides, the protein was cloned and sequenced. The allergen consists of a single polypeptide chain of 102 aa, with a signal peptide of 21 residues. Ole e 10 showed homology with the C-terminal domain of another olive allergen, Ole e 9 (1,3-beta-glucanase, 53% identity), with deduced sequences from Arabidopsis thaliana genes (42-46% identity) and with polypeptide segments (Cys boxes) of proteins involved in yeast development (Epd1/Gas-1p/Phr2 families; 42-43% similarity). Ole e 10 showed 55% prevalence for olive-allergic patients and exhibited an IgE response dependent on its conformation. Remarkable IgE cross-reactivity was detected with Ole e 9, but no correlation was observed between the individual IgE responses to both allergens. Ole e 10 shares IgE B cell epitopes with proteins from Oleaceae, Gramineae, Betulaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Cupressaceae, Ambrosia, and Parietaria pollens, latex, and vegetable foods, such as tomato, kiwi, potato, and peach. These data indicate that Ole e 10 is a new pan-allergenic plant protein that shows notable intra- and interspecie IgE cross-reactivity and is a powerful candidate to be involved in pollen-latex-fruit syndrome.  (+info)

Evidence of hominin control of fire at Gesher Benot Ya'aqov, Israel. (5/195)

The presence of burned seeds, wood, and flint at the Acheulian site of Gesher Benot Ya'aqov in Israel is suggestive of the control of fire by humans nearly 790,000 years ago. The distribution of the site's small burned flint fragments suggests that burning occurred in specific spots, possibly indicating hearth locations. Wood of six taxa was burned at the site, at least three of which are edible--live, wild barley, and wild grape.  (+info)

NMR solution structure of Ole e 6, a major allergen from olive tree pollen. (6/195)

Ole e 6 is a pollen protein from the olive tree (Olea europaea) that exhibits allergenic activity with a high prevalence among olive-allergic individuals. The three-dimensional structure of Ole e 6 has been determined in solution by NMR methods. This is the first experimentally determined structure of an olive tree pollen allergen. The structure of this 50-residue protein is based on 486 upper limit distance constraints derived from nuclear Overhauser effects and 24 torsion angle restraints. The global fold of Ole e 6 consists of two nearly antiparallel alpha-helices, spanning residues 3-19 and 23-33, that are connected by a short loop and followed by a long, unstructured C-terminal tail. Viewed edge-on, the structured N terminus has a dumbbell-like shape with the two helices on the outside and with the hydrophobic core, mainly composed of 3 aromatic and 6 cysteine residues, on the inside. All the aromatic rings lie on top of and pack against the three disulfide bonds. The lack of thermal unfolding, even at 85 degrees C, indicates a high conformational stability. Based on the analysis of the molecular surface, we propose five plausible epitopes for IgE recognition. The results presented here provide the structural foundation for future experiments to verify the antigenicity of the proposed epitopes, as well as to design novel hypoallergenic forms of the protein suitable for diagnosis and treatment of type-I allergies. In addition, three-dimensional structure features of Ole e 6 are discussed to provide a basis for future functional studies.  (+info)

Symbolic plant(s) of the Olympic Games. (7/195)

The victors of the Olympic Games in ancient Greece were awarded crowns made of olive branches. In Antiquity, the symbolism of plants was related to myths, properties, aesthetic values, and civilization. Theophrastus first classifies and identifies plants, and gathers information about them, in his classic books (4th century BC). Symbolic plants are native to the Mediterranean region and they exhibit some convergent behaviour with respect to their functional characteristics. These plants were collected (among other species) by Professor J. Sibthorp and his partners in two botanical journeys in the Levant during the 18th century, and they have been illustrated for Flora Graeca Sibthorpiana.  (+info)

Ruminal fermentation and degradation patterns, protozoa population and urinary purine derivatives excretion in goats and wethers fed diets based on olive leaves. (8/195)

Olives leaves, accrued during the processing of olive harvests for oil extraction, are poor in N, rich in crude fat and ADF (1.19, 8.03 and 28.2 g/100 g of DM, respectively), and relatively low in condensed tannins (11.1 mg/g of DM). Three experiments were conducted in a 2 x 3 (two animal species: goats vs. wethers; and three experimental diets: olive leaves without or with polyethylene glycol supply and olive leaves supplemented with barley and faba beans) factorial design to evaluate ruminal degradation and passage kinetics (Exp. 1), fermentation pattern and protozoa population (Exp. 2), and urinary purine derivatives excretion (Exp. 3). Polyethylene glycol was supplied to evaluate the effects of condensed tannins contained in olive leaves. Ruminal degradability of CP was low in both goats and wethers, although goats showed higher (P < 0.05) values than wethers. Supplementation of olive leaves with barley and faba beans increased (P < 0.001) ruminal degradability of DM and CP. Both goats and wethers fed olive leaves showed similarly low particulate fractional passage rates (0.021 and 0.023/h, respectively). Ingestion of olive leaves promoted low NH3-N and VFA concentrations, which reflect poor microbial activity. These concentrations, especially that of VFA, increased when barley and faba beans were added. Ingestion of olive leaves affected ruminal protozoa: Entodiniomorphida showed low concentrations and Holotricha completely disappeared. When animals received a diet based on olive leaves, barley, and faba beans, Holotricha appeared in the ruminal liquor and Entodiniomorphida increased (P < 0.001). In goats and wethers fed olive leaves alone, urinary allantoin excretion was very low (163 and 164 micromol/kg BW0.75 in goats and wethers, respectively), and moderate values (352 and 389 micromol/kg BW0.75 in goats and wethers, respectively) were observed when a diet of olive leaves, barley, and faba beans was fed. The polyethylene glycol supply did not have an effect in goats or in wethers, indicating the lack of an effect of condensed tannins in olive leaves. Ingestion of olive leaves promotes a low microbial activity, although its supplementation with readily degraded carbohydrates and protein improves microbial activity and, as a consequence, increases its ruminal degradation. In general, for most of the measured variables, there were no animal species x diet interactions. Thus, goats and wethers had similar ruminal activities when fed diets based on olive leaves.  (+info)