The relative binding site location and species specificity of 19 mouse hybridoma antibodies, produced in four laboratories, to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus major fecal allergen, Der p I, was studied by using immobilized mAb and inhibitions of radiolabeled Ag binding. Four mAb groups were defined, within which 4, 6, 8, and 5 mAb, respectively, cross-inhibited each other. Five mAb were members of both group 2 and 3, demonstrating a considerable overlap of epitopes between the corresponding antibody-binding regions. The degree of mAb species specificity, as assessed by inhibition with cold Der p I and Ag Der m I and Der f I from the related species, Dermatophagoides microceras and Dermatophagoides farinae, was highly variable even for mAb binding to the same region on the Ag. Five cases of cross-reactivity between Der p I and Der m I and one case of cross-reactivity between Der p I and Der f I were found. The N-terminal 30 amino acids of the three species showed 7 substitutions between Der p I and Der m I/Der f I and 2 between Der f I and Der p I/Der m I. Single mAb inhibited up to 65% of labeled Der p I binding to immobilized human IgE from allergic patients' sera and up to 24% of labeled Der p I binding to immobilized rabbit antibodies. The spectrum of species specificities in human IgE sera, as assessed by inhibitions with cold Ag, was similar to that of the mAb. No evidence for the presence of strictly sequential epitopes, reactive with either mAb or human IgE was found, as judged from the weak inhibitory activity of acid-denatured Der p I.

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