Submitted to: American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2003
Publication Date: 3/12/2004
Citation: Schmitt, D.A., Maleki, S.J., Isleib, T.G., Champagne, E.T. 2004. Screening mutant peanuts for allergen knockouts. American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. 111:247.
Technical Abstract: Rationale: Since the incidence of allergies to peanut has become more prevalent, one possible solution is to determine if irradiation of the peanut seed alters the levels of allergens in the peanut. Method: Peanut varieties from the North Carolina germplasm collection were irradiated to induce mutations. To determine if genes encoding allergens were affected by the irradiation, we have developed antibodies against the major allergens in peanuts, Ara h 1 and Ara h 2. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISHA) method was optimized and utilized to compare the levels of the major allergens in a number of these mutated peanuts, as well as 10 varieties of parental strains. These samples were also analyzed for diversity in the levels of soluble and overall protein content. Results: We found considerable diversity in the levels of the allergens and total protein content in samples of both the mutant peanuts as well as the parental strains. It appears that several of the mutated peanut samples exhibited lower levels of allergens. The mutant peanuts containing lower levels of allergens will be used in gene silencing and cross breeding experiments in attempt to eliminate or significantly reduce the allergenic potential of a peanut. Conclusions: In conjunction with current genetic manipulation, novel processing methods, immunotherapy and vaccine development studies being conducted we believe that a peanut cultivar with reduced allergenic potential may contribute to reducing the severity of an allergic reaction (by increasing threshold doses for a fatal reaction) and/or the chances of the original sensitization to peanuts.