Recombinant Cry j 1, a Japanese cedar pollen allergen, was produced in rice seeds for potential use for oral immunotherapy. Cry j 1 cDNA was divided into two parts, an N-terminal half and a C-terminal half, and each was fused downstream to glutelin GluB-1 gene containing sequences of the promoter, 5' untranslated region and signal peptide. A gene for green fluorescent protein was also fused to the 3′ end of the Cry j 1 fragment. Recombinant Cry j 1 of up to 16.6 μg per mg total protein of the seeds was expressed in transgenic rice seeds. Although the recombinant Cry j 1 was expected to be accumulated in protein body II because of the employment of glutelin signal peptide, it was demonstrated to be accumulated exclusively in protein body I. The recombinant Cry j 1 was not shown to react with IgE of allergic patients, indicating the reduction of the risk of anaphylactic reaction. These results demonstrate that the transgenic rice seeds with the recombinant Cry j 1 would be useful for the study of oral immunotherapy.
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