Transgenic Research

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 573–584 | Cite as

Development of a rice-based peptide vaccine for Japanese cedar and cypress pollen allergies

  • Fumio TakaiwaEmail author
  • Lijun Yang
Original Paper


Peptide immunotherapy using dominant T-cell epitopes is a safe treatment alternative to conventional subcutaneous injection of natural crude allergen extract, which is sometimes accompanied by anaphylactic shock. For Japanese cedar pollinosis (JCP), hybrid peptides composed of six to seven major T-cell epitopes (7Crp peptide) from the causative allergens Cry j 1 and Cry j 2 have been developed on the basis of different human leukemia antigen class II restrictions, because of the diversity of patients’ genetic backgrounds. However, other dominant T-cell epitopes that are produced in some patients are not covered by these peptides. To develop a more universal peptide vaccine for JCP, we generated transgenic rice seeds containing seven new T-cell epitopes (Crp3) in addition to the T-cell epitopes used in the 7Crp peptide. Next, we co-expressed unique T-cell epitopes (6Chao) from the Japanese cypress pollen allergens Cha o 1 and Cha o 2 in transgenic rice seeds, with 7Crp and Crp3. These transgenic rice seeds, containing many highly homologous T-cell epitopes derived from cedar and cypress allergens, are expected to be applicable to a wide range of patients suffering from these pollen allergies.


Allergy vaccine Oral vaccine Peptide immunotherapy Pollinosis Transgenic rice seeds 



Endoplasmic reticulum


Gut-associated lymphoid tissue


Human leukemia antigen


Japanese cedar pollinosis


Peripheral blood mononuclear cells


Protein body





We thank Ms M. Utsuno, Y. Ikemoto, K. Miyashita, and Y. Yajima for technical assistance. This work was supported by a grant from the Agri-Health Translational Research Project grant from the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries of Japan.

Supplementary material

11248_2014_9790_MOESM1_ESM.docx (20 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 20 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Functional Transgenic Crop Research UnitNational Institute of Agrobiological SciencesTsukubaJapan

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