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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Research Project: Exploratory Investigations in Food Allergy - Clinically Relevant IGE-Cross-Reactivity Among Nut Allergens

Location: Food Processing and Sensory Quality Research

2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
1. Identify cross-reactive epitopes using the peptide SPOTS membrane and serum IgE from patients allergic to peanut, walnut, and almond. 2. Develop models to predict cross-reactive epitopes among the nut allergens. 3. Synthesize free peptides of the cross-reactive epitopes. 4. Determine clinically relevant cross-reactive epitopes.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
SPOTS membrane analysis will be used to identify cross-reactive epitopes of nuts. The SPOTS data will be used to enhance the accuracy of prediction models. Free peptides of the cross-reactive epitopes will be synthesized and used to compare dissociation constants to allow the highest affinity peptides to be chosen for skin prick tests. Use SPOTS analysis, prediction tools, and inhibition analysis by basophile-histamine release analysis using basophils isolated from nuts to determine clinically relevant cross-reactive epitopes.


3.Progress Report

We utilize a computational program to predict IgE antibody binding sites in various tree nuts that are similar to the ones in peanuts. We then synthesize these peptides and look at actual immunoglobulin (IgE) antibody epitopes (a region on a protein that binds to a specific antibody) reactivity with these predicted antibody binding sites, and feed the information back into the computational model towards enhancing capabilities for prediction of cross-reactive epitopes in different nuts. This study will allow prediction of epitopes in novel foods or GMOs in the future, and a better diagnosis of nuts to which a patient may potentially cross-react.

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Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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