Clinical Reviews in Allergy

, 11:325 | Cite as

The composition of natural latex fromHevea brasiliensis

  • Jean-Louis Jacob
  • Jean d’Auzac
  • Jean-Claude Prevôt


Hevea brasiliensis latex collected by tapping can be considered as cytoplasm, in spite of the absence of nucleus and mitochondrial material. It possesses the complexity of cytoplasm both in its subcellular organization and the diversity of the constituent molecules. Its essential characteristic is the high rubber content. Rubber is a very long chaincis-polyisoprene polymer synthesized in the cytosol compartment. Rubber forms 90% of latex dry weight and 40% of fresh weight, which underlines the astonishing dominance of this anabolic pathway in the laticiferous metabolism. However, the preparation of dry rubber or concentrated latex as used in industry removes a fairly large proportion of the mineral and organic solutes from fresh latex. Latex processing conditions in plantation factories can considerably modify the technological properties of rubber after vulcanization through the influence of the nature and proportion of the residual nonrubber substances. Some of these give natural rubber properties that are still better than those of syntheticcis-polyisoprene.

In contrast, it appears to have been clearly demonstrated that the proteins extracted from latex or from rubber tree leaves containing latex display allergenic properties (46,47). Turjanmaa et al. (48) observed that allergenic proteins extracted from latex gloves have molecular weights of between 2 and 30 kDa and are thus similar to various allergens, including those of pollen. It has been mentioned that large quantities of proteins with low molecular weights are found in latex.


Clinical Review Rubber Particle Allergy Volume Trigonelline Laticiferous Ring 
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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Louis Jacob
    • 1
  • Jean d’Auzac
    • 2
  • Jean-Claude Prevôt
    • 2
  1. 1.Programme Hevea (CIRAD-CD)France
  2. 2.Université de Montpellier IIFrance

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