Something to wine about

January 25, 2011

The Column

The Column, The Column-01-24-2011, Volume 7, Issue 1

If you are suffering from headaches after a night of wine drinking there is a chance it may be more than the usual hangover. A study published in the Journal of Proteome Research has identified similarities between grape glycoproteins and known plant allergens.

If you are suffering from headaches after a night of wine drinking there is a chance it may be more than the usual hangover. A study published in the Journal of Proteome Research has identified similarities between grape glycoproteins and known plant allergens.1

Wine allergies are thought to occur in 8% of people worldwide, an eighth of which are due to sulphites added to the wine to prevent spoilage, but the remaining causes are unclear. However, glycoproteins from grapes and yeast found in wine greatly affect the clarity and stability of wine and are thought to be important in other processes, including allergic reactions. To understand these processes, a multiplexed glycopeptide enrichment strategy was used to analyse white wine.

The strategy employed HILIC and TiO2 chromatography-based approaches as well as hydrazide affinity capture. After enrichment, mass spectrometry identified glycosylation sites on the proteins. As a result, the study confidently identified 28 glycoproteins and 44 N-linked glycosylation sites; some for the first time. Many of these grape glycoproteins share similarities with plant proteins that are known allergens, including those that trigger allergic reactions to ragweed and latex. According to the researchers, this study is an important step forward in investigating the roles glycoproteins play, as well as raising the possibility of developing processes to limit their formation and create low-allergenic wines.

1. G. Palmisano, D. Antonacci and M.R. Larsen, J. Proteome Res., 9(12), 6148–6159 (2010).

This story originally appeared in The Column. Click here to view that issue.