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Extract-Shaped Immune Repertoires as Source for Nanobody-Based Human IgE in Grass Pollen Allergy

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Abstract

The presence of allergen-specific IgE in serum is a biomarker for allergic disease. Specific IgE antibodies for research and diagnostics, however, remain scarce. In contrast to prototypic antibodies, camelid species have evolved single domains as moiety for antigen recognition. These so-called nanobodies represent a versatile platform for the development of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. In this study, we aimed for generating nanobodies and derived IgE formats from an extract-shaped immune repertoire. Timothy grass pollen represents a complex, but well-defined mixture of individual allergens. Therefore, a repertoire library from a timothy grass pollen extract immunised llama was established. The selection by phage display yielded 3 nanobodies with immunoreactivity to the extract. IgE-like nanobody-based human IgE (nb-hIgE) antibodies were produced in mammalian cells and assessed in different immunoassays and commercial platforms. Immunoblotting and diagnostic ImmunoCap analysis of single timothy grass pollen allergens identified the major allergens Phl p 6 and Phl p 4 as targets. Assessment of immunoreactivity further documented significant molecular cross-reactivity with pollen extract of different grass species and variant presence of allergens within extracts of Pooideae grasses. In summary, our study shows that extract-based immunisation enables the generation of allergen-specific nanobodies and derived nb-hIgE formats linking nanobody technologies with allergological applications.

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Data availability

Data used and analysed in this study are available from the authors on reasonable request.

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Acknowledgements

Gratefully acknowledged is the excellent technical assistance by Nanna Breum Nielsen. Figure 2A and 3A were created with BioRender.com. This study was supported by the the Novo Nordisk Foundation, grant NNF19OC0058484, and the Independent Research Foundation Denmark, grant 9041-00291A.

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Correspondence to Edzard Spillner.

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Aagaard, J.B., Fischer, M., Lober, J. et al. Extract-Shaped Immune Repertoires as Source for Nanobody-Based Human IgE in Grass Pollen Allergy. Mol Biotechnol 65, 1518–1527 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12033-023-00664-8

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