Identification of Der p 23, a peritrophin-like protein, as a new major Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus allergen associated with the peritrophic matrix of mite fecal pellets, J Immunol 2013, 190:3059-3067

The house dust mite (HDM) Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus is one of most important allergen sources and a major elicitor of allergic asthma. We screened a D. pteronyssinusexpression cDNA library with IgE Abs from HDM allergic patients. A cDNA coding for a new major allergen was isolated, which showed sequence homology to peritrophins, which contain chitin-binding domains and are part of the peritrophic matrix lining the gut of arthropods. The mature Der p 23 allergen was expressed in Escherichia coli as an 8-kDa protein without its hydrophobic leader sequence and purified to homogeneity. It reacted with IgE Abs from 74% of D. pteronyssinus allergic patients (n = 347) at levels comparable to the two major HDM allergens, Der p 1 and Der p 2. Thus, Der p 23 represents a new major D. pteronyssinusallergen. Furthermore, rDer p 23 exhibited high allergenic activity as demonstrated by upregulation of CD203c expression on basophils from D. pteronyssinus allergic patients. Immunogold electron microscopy localized the allergen in the peritrophic matrix lining the midgut of D. pteronyssinus as well as on the surface of the fecal pellets. Thus, we identified a new major D. pteronyssinus allergen as peritrophin-like protein. The high allergenic activity of Der p 23 and its frequent recognition as respiratory allergen may be explained by the fact that it becomes airborne and respirable through its association with mite feces. Der p 23 may be an essential component for diagnosis and specific immunotherapy of HDM allergy.