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Vol. 128, No. 4, 2002
Issue release date: August 2002
Section title: Opinion Article
Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2002;128:280–291
(DOI:10.1159/000063861)

Bioinformatic Methods for Allergenicity Assessment Using a Comprehensive Allergen Database

Hileman R.E. · Silvanovich A. · Goodman R.E. · Rice E.A. · Holleschak G. · Astwood J.D. · Hefle S.L.
aMonsanto Company, Product Safety Center, St. Louis, Mo., and bUniversity of Nebraska, Food Allergy Research and Resource Program, Lincoln, Nebr., USA

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Opinion Article

Received: 5/15/2002
Published online: 9/6/2002

Number of Print Pages: 12
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 3

ISSN: 1018-2438 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0097 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/IAA

Abstract

Background: A principal aim of the safety assessment of genetically modified crops is to prevent the introduction of known or clinically cross-reactive allergens. Current bioinformatic tools and a database of allergens and gliadins were tested for the ability to identify potential allergens by analyzing 6 Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal proteins, 3 common non-allergenic food proteins and 50 randomly selected corn (Zea mays) proteins. Methods: Protein sequences were compared to allergens using the FASTA algorithm and by searching for matches of 6, 7 or 8 contiguous identical amino acids. Results: No significant sequence similarities or matches of 8 contiguous amino acids were found with the B. thuringiensis or food proteins. Surprisingly, 41 of 50 corn proteins matched at least one allergen with 6 contiguous identical amino acids. Only 7 of 50 corn proteins matched an allergen with 8 contiguous identical amino acids. When assessed for overall structural similarity to allergens, these 7 plus 2 additional corn proteins shared ≧35% identity in an overlap of ≧80 amino acids, but only 6 of the 7 were similar across the length of the protein, or shared >50% identity to an allergen. Conclusions: An evaluation of a protein by the FASTA algorithm is the most predictive of a clinically relevant cross-reactive allergen. An additional search for matches of 8 amino acids may provide an added margin of safety when assessing the potential allergenicity of a protein, but a search with a 6-amino-acid window produces many random, irrelevant matches.


  

Author Contacts

Correspondence to: Dr. Susan L. Hefle
University of Nebraska, Food Allergy Research and Resource Program
255 Food Industry Building
Lincoln, NE 68583-0919 (USA)
Tel. +1 402 472 4430, Fax +1 402 472 1693, E-Mail shefle1@unl.edu

  

Article Information

Received: November 12, 2001
Accepted after revision: May 14, 2002
Number of Print Pages : 12
Number of Figures : 0, Number of Tables : 3, Number of References : 46

  

Publication Details

International Archives of Allergy and Immunology
Founded 1950

Vol. 128, No. 4, Year 2002 (Cover Date: August 2002)

Journal Editor: D. Kraft, Vienna
ISSN: 1018–2438 (print), 1423–0097 (Online)

For additional information:http://www.karger.com/journals/iaa


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Opinion Article

Received: 5/15/2002
Published online: 9/6/2002

Number of Print Pages: 12
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 3

ISSN: 1018-2438 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0097 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/IAA


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