AF099: Berberine bridge enzyme

List allergens from this family:

Routes of exposure:
Include only IUIS approved allergens.

Biochemical properties

Berberine bridge and berberine bridge-like enzymes are plant enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of numerous isoquinoline alkaloids. Berberine bridge enzymes catalyze the transformation of the N-methyl group of (S)-reticuline into the C-8 berberine bridge carbon of (S)-scoulerine [1]. Members of this family are flavoproteins that contain a conserved FAD-binding domain.

Allergens from this family

The first identified allergen from this family was BG60 from Bermuda grass pollen [2]. Homology to BBEs was also found for Phl p 4 from timothy grass [3], Api g 5 from celery tuber [4], and a high molecular weight allergen from Brassica napus pollen [5]. These allergens are glycoproteins and were originally thought to bind human IgE exclusively via their N-liked glycan moieties. However, recombinant Phl p 4 expressed in Escherichia coli bound IgE of nearly all sera of nPhl p 4-sensitized patients [3].



  1. Facchini PJ, Penzes C, Johnson AG, Bull D:
    Molecular characterization of berberine bridge enzyme genes from opium poppy.
    Plant Physiol 1996, 112, 1669-77. [PubMed]
  2. Su SN, Shu P, Lau GX, Yang SY, Huang SW, Lee YC:
    Immunologic and physicochemical studies of Bermuda grass pollen antigen BG60.
    J Allergy Clin Immunol 1996, 98, 486-94. [PubMed]
  3. Dewitt AM, Andersson K, Peltre G, Lidholm J:
    Cloning, expression and immunological characterization of full-length timothy grass pollen allergen Phl p 4, a berberine bridge enzyme-like protein with homology to celery allergen Api g 5.
    Clin Exp Allergy 2006, 36, 77-86. [PubMed] [Full Text]
  4. Bublin M, Radauer C, Wilson IB, Kraft D, Scheiner O, Breiteneder H, Hoffmann-Sommergruber K:
    Cross-reactive N-glycans of Api g 5, a high molecular weight glycoprotein allergen from celery, are required for immunoglobulin E binding and activation of effector cells from allergic patients.
    FASEB J 2003, 17, 1697-9. [PubMed] [Full Text]
  5. Chardin H, Mayer C, Senechal H, Tepfer M, Desvaux FX, Peltre G:
    Characterization of high-molecular-mass allergens in oilseed rape pollen.
    Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2001, 125, 128-34. [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
PF01565 FAD binding domain CL0077 PCMH-like FAD binding
PF08031 Berberine and berberine like CL0277 FAD-linked oxidase C-terminal domain superfamily


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