Korean J Parasitol.  2010 Jun;48(2):151-155. 10.3347/kjp.2010.48.2.151.

Enzymatic Activities of Allergen Extracts from Three Species of Dust Mites and Cockroaches Commonly Found in Korean Home

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine and Institute of Allergy, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul 120-752, Korea.
  • 2Department of Environmental Medical Biology and Institute of Tropical Medicine, Arthropods of Medical Importance Resource Bank, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul 120-752, Korea. tsyong212@yuhs.ac


Allergen extracts from dust mites and cockroaches commonly found in Korean homes were used to evaluate their enzymatic activity as they are believed to influence allergenicity. Allergen extracts were prepared from 3 dust mite species (Dermatophagoides farinae, D. pteronyssinus, and Tyrophagus putrescentiae) and 3 cockroach species (Blattella germanica, Periplaneta americana, and P. fuliginosa) maintained in the Korea National Arthropods of Medical Importance Resource Bank. Proteins were extracted in PBS after homogenization using liquid nitrogen. The activities of various enzymes were investigated using the API Zym system. No significant difference in phosphatase, lipase, or glycosidase activity was observed among the 6 allergen extracts, but much difference was observed in protease activity. Protease activity was assessed in more detail by gelatin zymography and the EnzChek assay. Extract from T. putrescentiae showed the highest protease activity, followed by those of the cockroach extracts. Extracts from D. farinae and D. pteronyssinus showed only weak protease activity. Gelatinolytic activity was detected mainly in a 30-kDa protein in D. farinae, a 28-kDa protein in D. pteronyssinus, a > 26-kDa protein in T. putrescentiae, a > 20-kDa protein in B. germanica, and a > 23-kDa protein in P. americana and P. fuliginosa. The information on various enzymatic activities obtained in this study may be useful for future studies. In particular, the strong protease activity found in cockroach extracts could contribute to sensitization to cockroach allergens, which is known to be associated with the development of asthma.


Dermatophagoides farinae; Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus; Tyrophagus putrescentiae; Blattella germanica; Periplaneta americana; Periplaneta fuliginosa; allergen; protease; cockroach; dust mite
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