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A Journal on Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2005 April;140(2):113-22

language: English, Italian

The wasp-mosquito syndrome: amino acid sequence homology and HLA system

Guarneri F., Guarneri C., Guarneri B.

Istitute of Dermatology University of Messina, Messina, Italy


Aim. The term “wasp-mosquito syndrome” identifies the cross-reactivity between allergens of wasps and mosquitoes (and, very likely, horsefly), whose molecular basis is, up to date, unknown. In our study, we searched for possible homologies between proteins of the 3 different kinds of insects, which could explain the phenomena observed in vivo and in vitro. Moreover, we correlated the above data to some HLA haplotypes, known in literature as risk factors for the development of allergy to wasps.
Methods. We used public domain softwares to reveal amino acid sequence homologies of primary structure between proteins and custom softwares to search, within amino acid sequences of proteins, for binding motifs of MHC molecules produced by specific HLA haplotypes.
Results. We demonstrated significant homologies and correlations with HLA DRB1*1104 for hyaluronidases—in agreement with literature data—and for lipases of several species of wasps and mosquitoes; significant homology, but no sharing of binding motifs specific for the HLA haplotypes studied, was revealed for phospholipases and cytochrome oxidases (subunit 1).
Conclusion. Our in silico study of the properties of wasp and mosquito proteins confirms the data reported in literature by Sabbah et al. in 1999, and allows to formulate new, interesting pathogenic hypotheses, suggesting new directions where, to achieve resource optimization, experiments and future researches should be primarily concentrated.

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