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Original Article


Nonadverse Effects on Allergenicity of Isopentenyltransferase-Transformed Broccoli


EC Liao,1 JT Chen,2 ML Chao,2 SC Yu,3 CY Chang,1 WS Chu,2,* JJ Tsai1,3,4,*

1 Department of Medical Research, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
2 Food Industry Research and Development Institute, HsinChu, Taiwan
3 Institute of Medical Technology, National Chung-Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan
4 Institute of Clinical Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
* These authors contributed equally to the supervision of this research.

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2013; Vol. 23(2): 112-119



Background: Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) provide modern agriculture with improvements in efficiency and the benefits of enhanced food production; however, the potential impact of GMOs on human health has not yet been clarified.

Objective: To investigate the allergenicity of isopentenyltransferase (ipt)-transformed broccoli compared with non-GM broccoli.

Methods: Sera from allergic individuals were used to identify the allergenicity of GM and non-GM broccoli. Immunoglobulin (Ig) binding of different lines of GM and non-GM broccoli was identified using immunoblotting, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and the histamine release assay.

Results: Positive reactions to broccoli (Brassica Oleracea) were observed in 7.02% of individuals. Specific IgE to broccoli and total IgE from allergic individuals were well correlated. The different tests performed showed no significant differences in the allergenicity of conventionally raised and GM broccoli, indicating the absence of unexpected effects on allergenicity in ipt-transformed plants. Using Western blot analysis, we detected heterogeneous IgE-reactive allergenic components in broccoli-allergic sera, but no signifi cant differences between GM and non-GM broccoli were observed in serum from the same patients.

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that there are no differences between GM (ipt-transformed) broccoli and non-GM broccoli, as determined by specific IgE in sera from broccoli-allergic patients. This indicates that there were no unexpected effects on allergenicity in this GM broccoli.

Key words: Genetically modified organisms. Isopentenyltransferase gene. Broccoli allergenicity.