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Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2007 Feb;27(1):1-27.

Bioinformatics approaches to classifying allergens and predicting cross-reactivity.

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Sealy Center for Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77555-0857, USA.


Allergenic proteins from very different environmental sources have similar sequences and structures. This fact may account for multiple allergen syndromes, whereby a myriad of diverse plants and foods may induce a similar IgE-based reaction in certain patients. Identifying the common triggering protein in these sources, in silico, can aid designing individualized therapy for allergen sufferers. This article provides an overview of databases on allergenic proteins, and ways to identify common proteins that may be the cause of multiple allergy syndromes. The major emphasis is on the relational Structural Database of Allergenic Proteins (SDAP []), which includes cross-referenced data on the sequence, structure, and IgE epitopes of over 800 allergenic proteins, coupled with specially developed bioinformatics tools to group all allergens and identify discrete areas that may account for cross-reactivity. SDAP is freely available on the Web to clinicians and patients.

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