Biofortification of soybean meal: immunological properties of the 27 kDa γ-zein

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Hari B KrishnanHarold N Trick


Legumes, including soybeans ( Glycine max ), are deficient in sulfur-containing amino acids, which are required for the optimal growth of monogastric animals. This deficiency can be overcome by expressing heterologous proteins rich in sulfur-containing amino acids in soybean seeds. A maize 27 kDa γ-zein, a cysteine-rich protein, has been successfully expressed in several crops including soybean, barley, and alfalfa with the intent to biofortify these crops for animal feed. Previous work has shown that the maize 27 kDa zein can withstand digestion by pepsin and elicit an immunogenic response in young pigs. By use of sera from patients who tested positive by ImmunoCAP assay for elevated IgE to maize proteins, specific IgE binding to the 27 kDa γ-zein is demonstrated. Bioinformatic analysis using the full-length and 80 amino acid sliding window FASTA searches identified significant sequence homology of the 27 kDa γ-zein with several known allergens. Immunoblot analysis using human serum that cross-reacts with maize seed proteins also revealed specific IgE-binding to the 27 kDa γ-zein in soybean seed protein extracts containing the 27 kDa zein. This study demonstrates for the first time the allergenicity potential of the 27 kDa γ-z...Continue Reading


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