The Role of Lipid Transfer Proteins in Allergic Diseases
Nonspecific lipid transfer proteins (LTPs) are important allergens in fruits, vegetables, nuts, pollen, and latex. Despite
their wide distribution throughout the plant kingdom, their clinical relevance is largely confined to the Mediterranean area.
As they can sensitize via the gastrointestinal tract, LPTs are considered true food allergens, and IgE reactivity to LTPs
is often associated with severe systemic symptoms. Although Pru p 3 represents the predominant LTP in terms of patients’ IgE
recognition, the contribution of pollen LTPs in primary sensitization cannot be ruled out. Due to structural homology, LTPs
from different allergen sources are generally IgE cross-reactive. However, sensitization profiles among allergic patients
are extremely heterogeneous, and individual cross-reactivity patterns can be restricted to a single LTP or encompass many
different LTPs. Molecule-based approaches in allergy research and diagnosis are important for better understanding of LTP
allergy and could assist clinicians with providing adequate patient-tailored advice.