Immunoglobulin-E reactivity to wine glycoproteins in heavy drinkers
Research output: Contribution to journal › Journal article
N-glycans from plant and invertebrate allergens can induce extensive immunoglobulin-E (IgE) cross-reactivity in vitro. IgE antibodies against these N-glycans, also termed cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants or CCDs, are prevalent in alcohol drinkers. This study investigated the prevalence and biological significance of IgE antibodies to N-glycans from wine glycoproteins in heavy drinkers. A structured questionnaire, skin prick tests, serum IgE levels, IgE-immunoblotting to wine extracts, and basophil activation tests were used to characterize 20 heavy drinkers and 10 control subjects. Eleven heavy drinkers (55%) showed IgE binding to proteins in wine extracts. The proteins were identified by mass spectrometry as grape-derived vacuolar invertase and thaumatin-like protein. Immunoblot reactivity was closely associated with the presence of IgE to CCDs and was inhibited by preincubation with a glycoconjugate containing bromelain-type N-glycans. The same conjugate, CCD-bearing allergens, and wine extracts activated basophils in patients with high-titer CCD-specific IgE but not in healthy controls. There was no relationship between immunoblot reactivity and consumption of any specific type of wine. No patient reported symptoms of hypersensitivity to Hymenoptera venom, food, or wine. In conclusion, heavy drinkers frequently show IgE reactivity to the N-glycans of wine glycoproteins. Glycans and wine glycoprotein extracts can induce basophil activation in sensitized alcoholics. The clinical significance of these findings remains to be elucidated.