rPla l 1, English Plantain

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Code: w234
Latin name: Plantago lanceolata
Source material: rPla l 1 is a CCD-free recombinant protein.
Family: Plantaginaceae
Common names: Trypsin inhibitor

Allergen: rPla l 1. (1, 2)
                rPla l 1 is a CCD-free recombinant protein.

Biological function: Trypsin inhibitor

Mw: 17-20 kDa

Clinical Utility

Pla l 1, a trypsin inhibitor, an Ole e 1-related protein, is a major specific English plantain allergen, recognised by approximately 85% of English plane-allergic patients. (1)

Recombinant Pla l 1, like other recombinant allergens, can be used to assess patient reactivity, characterise IgE binding epitopes, and study the effect of mutations on IgE binding.

Allergen Exposure

See Plantain (English)/ Ribwort w9.

Allergen description:

Pla l 1 is a trypsin inhibitor. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

Trypsin inhibitors serve in certain plants as pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins which play an important role in the plant defence mechanism against insects and pathogens; (7) however their biological function in English plantain is unknown. They have been suggested to be involved in important events of pollen physiology, such as hydration, germination and/or pollen tube growth, and other reproductive functions. (8)

Potential Cross-Reactivity

Pla I 1 and Ole e 1 share 39% of their amino acid sequences. Cross-reactivity using sera from patients allergic to either plant pollen was shown, and both allergens share common epitopes which are cross-recognised by sera from patients; (6) however, cross-reactivity with Ole e 1 is clinically non-significant and has little clinical relevance. (1, 2, 6, 9)

The Ole e 1-like family of proteins comprises allergenic members (Fra e 1, Lig v 1, Syr v 1 from Oleaceae species; Pla l 1 from Plantago lanceolata; Che a 1 from Chenopodium album; Lol p 11 from Lolium perenne; and Phl p 11 from Phleum pratense), as well as non-allergenic members such as BB18 from Betula verrucosa. (10)

Clinical Experience

English plantain pollen is an important cause of asthma, allergic rhinitis and allergic conjunctivitis, particularly in the temperate regions of North America, Australia and Europe. (11, 12, 13, 14, 15) English plantain pollen has also been shown to be present in relatively large amounts in various geographic regions of Europe, including Montpellier in France (16), Spain, (17, 18, 19) Poland, (20) Greece, (21) Turkey, (22, 23) Hungary, (24) and Israel. (25)

Pla l 1 is a major allergen, and Pla l 1-specific IgE is recognised in 80% to 86% of English plantain-sensitive patients. (1, 3)

See Plantain (English)/ Ribwort w9 for clinical information and further details on Plantain (English)/ Ribwort allergy.


Compiled by Dr Harris Steinman,



  1. Calabozo B, Barber D, Polo F. Purification and characterization of the main allergen of Plantago lanceolata pollen, Pla l 1. Clin Exp Allergy 2001;31(2):322-30.
  2. Calabozo B, Díaz-Perales A, Salcedo G, Barber D, Polo F. Cloning and expression of biologically active Plantago lanceolata pollen allergen Pla l 1 in the yeast Pichia pastoris. Biochem J 2003;372:889-96.
  3. Calabozo B, Duffort O, Carpizo JA, Barber D, Polo F. Monoclonal antibodies against the major allergen of Plantago lanceolata pollen, Pla l 1: affinity chromatography purification of the allergen. Allergy 2001;56(5):429-35.
  4. International Union of Immunological Societies Allergen Nomenclature: IUIS official list http://www.allergen.org/ Accessed December 2013.
  5. Calabozo B, Barber D, Polo F. Studies on the carbohydrate moiety of Pla l 1 allergen, identification of a major N-glycan and significance for the immunoglobulin E-binding activity. Clin Exp Allergy 2002;32(11):1628-34.
  6. Castro AJ, Alché JD, Calabozo B, Rodríguez-García MI, Polo F. Pla 1 1 and Ole e 1 pollen allergens share common epitopes and similar ultrastructural localization. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2007;17 Suppl 1:41-7.
  7. Dodo HW, Viquez OM, Maleki SJ, Konan KN. cDNA clone of a putative peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) trypsin inhibitor has homology with peanut allergens Ara h 3 and Ara h 4. J Agric Food Chem 2004;52(5):1404-9.
  8. Jiménez-López JC, Rodríguez-García MI, de Dios Alche J. Systematic and Phylogenetic Analysis of the Ole e 1 Pollen Protein Family Members in Plants Syst Comput Biol Bioinform Comput Model 2011;2011(12):245-59.
  9. Sastre J. Molecular diagnosis in allergy. Clin Exp Allergy 2010;40(10):1442-60.
  10. Rodríguez R, Villalba M, Batanero E, Palomares O, Quiralte J, Salamanca G, Sirvent S, Castro L, Prado N. Olive pollen recombinant allergens: value in diagnosis and immunotherapy. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2007;17 Suppl 1:4-10.
  11. Garcia-Gonzalez JJ, Vega-Chicote JM, Rico P, del Prado JM, Carmona MJ, Miranda A, Perez-Estrada M, Martin S, Cervera JA, Acebes JM. Prevalence of atopy in students from Malaga, Spain. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 1998;80(3):237-44.
  12. Wüthrich B, Annen H. Pollionosis: I. Findings on the clinical aspects and the pollen spectrum in 1565 pollen-sensitive patients. [German] Schweiz Med Wochenschr 1979;109(33):1212-8.
  13. Spieksma FT, Charpin H, Nolard N, Stix E. City spore concentrations in the European Economic Community (EEC). IV. Summer weed pollen (Rumex, Plantago, Chenopodiaceae, Artemisia), 1976 and 1977. Clin Allergy 1980;10(3):319-29.
  14. Ruiz-Garcia M, Garcia Del PM, Fernandez-Nieto M, Barber D, Jimeno-Nogales L, Sastre J. Profilin: A relevant aeroallergen? J Allergy Clin Immunol 2011;128(2):416-18.
  15. Mohapatra SS, Lockey RF, Polo F. Weed pollen allergens. Clin Allergy Immunol 2008;21:127-39.
  16. Bousquet J, Cour P, Guerin B, Michel FB. Allergy in the Mediterranean area. I. Pollen counts and pollinosis of Montpellier. Clin Allergy 1984;14(3):249-58.
  17. Silva Palacios I, Tormo Molina R, Nunoz Rodriguez AF. Influence of wind direction on pollen concentration in the atmosphere. Int J Biometeorol 2000;44(3):128-33.
  18. Recio M, Del Mar TM, Toro F, Docampo S, Garcia-Gonzalez J, Cabezudo B. A three-year aeropalynological study in Estepona (southern Spain). Ann Agric Environ Med 2006;13(2):201-207.
  19. Caballero T, Romualdo L, Crespo JF, Pascual C, Muñoz-Pereira M, Martin-Esteban M. Cupressaceae pollinosis in the Madrid area. Clin Exp Allergy 1996;26(2):197-201.
  20. Gniazdowska B, Doroszewska G, Doroszewski W. Hypersensitivity to weed pollen allergens in the region of Bygdoszcz. [Polish] Pneumonol Alergol Pol 1993;61(7-8):367-72.
  21. Apostolou EK, Yannitsaros AG. Atmospheric pollen in the area of Athens. Acta Allergol 1977;32(2):109-17.
  22. Bicakci A, Akyalcin H. Analysis of airborne pollen fall in Balikesir, Turkey, 1996-1997. Ann Agric Environ Med 2000;7(1):5-10.
  23. Celenk S, Bicakci A. Aerobiological investigation in Bitlis, Turkey. Ann Agric Environ Med 2005;12(1):87-93.
  24. Kadocsa E, Juhász M. Change in the allergen spectrum of hay fever patients in the Southern Great Plains of Hungary (1990-1998). [Hungarian] Orv Hetil 2000;141(29):1617-20.
  25. Rachmiel M, Waisel Y, Verliger H, Keynan N, Katz Y. Correlation between exposure to allergenic pollens and allergic manifestations. [Hebrew] Harefuah 1996;130(8):505-11, 584.


As in all diagnostic testing, the diagnosis is made by the physican based on both test results and the patient history.