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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.


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


Copyright / Drug Dosage

Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

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