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Clin Exp Allergy. 2019 Sep 13. doi: 10.1111/cea.13496. [Epub ahead of print]

Ara h 7 isoforms share many linear epitopes: Are 3D epitopes crucial to elucidate divergent abilities?

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Laboratory of Translational Immunology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Department of Dermatology and Allergology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
EUROIMMUN AG, Lübeck, Germany.



The peanut allergens Ara h 2, h 6, and h 7 are potent allergens and can trigger severe reactions. Ara h 7 consists of three isoforms differing in their ability to induce basophil degranulation, whereas the ability of Ara h 7.0201 is comparable to Ara h 2 and 6 as shown in previous literature.


To identify linear epitopes of Ara h 7.0101, Ara h 7.0201 and Ara h 7.0301 recognized by IgE and IgG4 from patients sensitized to Ara h 7 and to investigate their potential to elucidate divergent abilities of the Ara h 7 isoforms in inducing basophil activation.


Linear epitopes recognized by IgE and IgG4 were mapped by peptide microarray analysis containing 15-mer peptides of Ara h 2.0201, 6, 7.0101, 7.0201 and 7.0301 and 39 peanut allergic patients sensitized to Ara h 7 (discovery). For validation, 20-mer peptides containing the minimal epitope and surrounding amino acids were incubated with 25 sensitized patients and 10 controls (validation).


Three out of 14 linear epitopes were unique for each isoform (Ara h 7.0101: aa 97-109; Ara h 7.0201: aa 122-133; Ara h 7.0301: aa 65-74) but scarcely recognized by IgE. The main linear IgE epitope (aa 51-57) located in the long flexible loop of all Ara h 7 isoforms was bound by antibodies from 31% of the patients (discovery and validation cohort). Regarding IgG4, 55% of the patients recognized an epitope present on all isoforms (aa 55-65), whereas epitope aa 129-137, only present on Ara h 7.0101/0.0301, was recognized by 38% of the patients. Recognition was highly individual, although 20% of the patients recognized any linear epitope neither by IgE nor by IgG4 despite a low mean z-score of ≥ 1.7. Remarkably, only 50% of the patients recognized one or more epitopes by IgE.


Ara h 7 isoforms share many linear epitopes being easily accessible for antibody binding. Unique epitopes, essential to elucidate divergent potencies, were scarcely recognized, suggesting a crucial involvement of conformational epitopes.


2S albumins; Ara h 7 isoforms; food allergy; linear epitopes; peanut


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