AF045: Cupin

List allergens from this family:

Routes of exposure:
Include only IUIS approved allergens.

Biochemical properties

The cupins are a large and functionally immensely diverse superfamily of proteins that have a common origin and whose evolution can be followed from bacteria to eukaryotes including animals and higher plants [1]. These proteins share a β-barrel structural core domain to which the term cupin (derived from the Latin word cupa for barrel) was given. Cupins can be divided into single-domain cupins and two-domain bicupins. Monocupins include bacterial carbohydrate isomerases and epimerases, metal-dependent dioxygenases as well as germins and germin-like proteins. The largest families of bicupins are the 7/8S and 11S seed storage globulins that are the major components of plant seeds and constitute important protein sources of the human diet.

Allergens from this family

Allergenic members of the cupin superfamily belong to the seed storage globulins. These proteins are major food allergens from legumes, nuts and seeds [2]. Seed storage globulins can be grouped into two families:



  1. Dunwell JM, Purvis A, Khuri S:
    Cupins: the most functionally diverse protein superfamily?
    Phytochemistry 2004, 65, 7-17. [PubMed]
  2. Radauer C, Breiteneder H:
    Evolutionary biology of plant food allergens.
    J Allergy Clin Immunol 2007, 120, 518-25. [PubMed] [Full Text]


Links to Pfam

Family-defining Pfam domains (at least one of these domains is present in each family member):

Pfam domain Pfam clan
PF00190 Cupin CL0029 Cupin fold
PF04702 Vicilin N terminal region -

Links to Wikipedia


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