Ber e 1 protein: the versatile major allergen from Brazil nut seeds
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Due mainly to its extremely high content of sulphur amino acids, Ber e 1 protein, the major allergen from Brazil nut, has attracted much scientific and press attention. Ber e 1 was the main target protein in early biotechnology transgenic work, in early processing studies of plant storage proteins, in plant vacuolar targeting studies and as the main protein in early nutritional supplementation experiments. Ber e 1 was also one of the first food allergens to be unintentionally transferred from one plant to another and was involved in the first reported case of systemic allergic reaction caused by a food allergen transferred in semen. In this review, many of the Ber e 1 unique biotechnological and structural functions are discussed with a particular emphasis on its use as model protein for studies of intrinsic allergenicity of food proteins.