PSI Structural Biology Knowledgebase

PSI | Structural Biology Knowledgebase
Header Icons
E-Collection

Related Articles
Community-Nominated Targets
July 2015
Drug Discovery: Solving the Structure of an Anti-hypertension Drug Target
July 2015
Retrospective: 7,000 Structures Closer to Understanding Biology
July 2015
Design and Evolution: Unveiling Translocator Proteins
June 2015
Signaling with DivL
May 2015
Signaling: A Platform for Opposing Functions
May 2015
Signaling: Securing Lipid-Protein Partnership
May 2015
Dynamic DnaK
March 2015
Iron-Sulfur Cluster Biosynthesis
December 2014
Mitochondrion: Flipping for UCP2
December 2014
Mitochondrion: Setting a New TRAP1
December 2014
Power in Numbers
August 2014
Quorum Sensing: A Groovy New Component
August 2014
Quorum Sensing: E. coli Gets Involved
August 2014
iTRAQing the Ubiquitinome
July 2014
Microbiome: The Dynamics of Infection
September 2013
Protein-Nucleic Acid Interaction: A Modified SAM to Modify tRNA
July 2013
Protein-Nucleic Acid Interaction: Versatile Glutamate
July 2013
PDZ Domains
April 2013
Alpha-Catenin Connections
March 2013
Cell-Cell Interaction: A FERM Connection
March 2013
Cell-Cell Interaction: Magic Structure from Microcrystals
March 2013
Cell-Cell Interaction: Modulating Self Recognition Affinity
March 2013
Bacterial Hemophores
January 2013
Archaeal Lipids
December 2012
Membrane Proteome: Capturing Multiple Conformations
December 2012
Lethal Tendencies
October 2012
Symmetry from Asymmetry
October 2012
A signal sensing switch
September 2012
Regulatory insights
September 2012
AlkB Homologs
August 2012
Budding ensemble
August 2012
Targeting Enzyme Function with Structural Genomics
July 2012
The machines behind the spindle assembly checkpoint
June 2012
Chaperone interactions
April 2012
Pilus Assembly Protein TadZ
April 2012
Revealing the Nuclear Pore Complex
March 2012
Topping off the proteasome
March 2012
Twist to open
March 2012
Disordered Proteins
February 2012
Analyzing an allergen
January 2012
Making Lipopolysaccharide
January 2012
Pulling on loose ends
January 2012
Terminal activation
December 2011
The Perils of Protein Secretion
November 2011
Bacterial Armor
October 2011
TLR4 regulation: heads or tails?
October 2011
Ribose production on demand
September 2011
Moving some metal
August 2011
Looking for lipids
July 2011
Ribofuranosyl Binding Protein
June 2011
A molecular switch for neuronal growth
May 2011
Cell wall recycler
May 2011
Added benefits
April 2011
NMR challenges current protein hydration dogma
March 2011
Nitrile Reductase QueF
March 2011
Tip formin
March 2011
Inhibiting factor
February 2011
PASK staying active
February 2011
Tryptophanyl-tRNA Synthetase
February 2011
Regulating nitrogen assimilation
January 2011
Subtle shifts
January 2011
Nitrobindin
December 2010
Function following form
October 2010
tRNA Isopentenyltransferase MiaA
August 2010
Importance of extension for integrin
June 2010
Phytochrome
April 2010
Alg13 Subunit of N-Acetylglucosamine Transferase
February 2010
Hemolysin BL
January 2010
Secretagogin
December 2009
Two-component signaling
December 2009
Network coverage
November 2009
Pseudouridine Synthase TruA
November 2009
Unusual cell division
October 2009
Toxin-antitoxin VapBC-5
September 2009
Salicylic Acid Binding Protein 2
August 2009
Proofreading RNA
July 2009
Ykul structure solves bacterial signaling puzzle
July 2009
Hda and DNA Replication
June 2009
Controlling p53
May 2009
Mitotic checkpoint control
May 2009
Ribonuclease and Ribonuclease Inhibitor
April 2009
The elusive helicase
April 2009
Aquaglyceroporin
March 2009
High-energy storage system
February 2009
A new class of bacterial E3 ubiquitination enzymes
January 2009
Poly(A) RNA recognition
January 2009
Activating BAX
December 2008
Scavenger Decapping Enzyme DcpS
November 2008
Bacteriophage Lambda cII Protein
October 2008
New metal-binding domain
October 2008
Blocking AmtB
September 2008
T-Rex
September 2008
Aspartate Dehydrogenase
August 2008
RNase T
July 2008
Chronophin
May 2008

Research Themes Cell biology

Analyzing an allergen

SBKB [doi:10.1038/sbkb.2011.57]
Featured Article - January 2012
Short description: Computational, structural, and biochemical analysis of peanut Ara h 1 gives insights into understanding and diagnosing nut allergies.

A molecular surface representation of the trimeric Ara h 1 core. Figure courtesy of Wladek Minor.

As the incidence of peanut and tree nut allergies rises, pressure is mounting on researchers to understand the mechanisms behind these allergies and provide improved diagnostics and treatments. The two major peanut allergens are the vicilin Ara h 1 and the legumin Ara h 3. Ara h 1 is recognized by IgE present in sera from 90% of peanut-allergic individuals. It forms a homotrimer and may form larger oligomers in vivo. How the natural form of peanut Ara h 1 compares to other nut allergens and to recombinant Ara h 1 that can be used in newly developed diagnostic methods remains to be seen.

Minor, Chruszcz and colleagues (PSI NYSGRC) have performed a multifaceted analysis of natural and recombinant peanut Ara h 1. Crystallographic data reveal that the recombinant Ara h 1 core is trimeric and sufficient for formation of larger oligomers. Small angle X-ray scattering data indicate that natural Ara h 1 as well as the recombinant core form larger oligomers containing 9 or 12 protein chains. Interestingly, the full-length recombinant form of Ara h 1 is monomeric and partially unfolded in solution, consistent with in vitro gastric digestion assays that revealed natural Ara h 1 is most stable while full-length recombinant Ara h 1 is least stable. When tested for reactivity to serum IgE from patients with a peanut allergy, full-length recombinant Ara h 1 was reactive for most individuals, although natural Ara h 1 was reactive for all patients and usually produced a stronger reaction than recombinant Ara h 1. The shortened recombinant core of Ara h 1 also reacted with patient sera, with a pattern similar to that of full-length recombinant Ara h 1.

The authors find strong sequence and structural similarities between Ara h 1 and other vicilins and legumins, consistent with previously reported shared IgE-binding epitopes between peanuts and tree nut allergens; this helps explain how patients with peanut allergies often have allergies to other nuts as well. However, the finding that recombinant Ara h 1 was not recognized by patient sera as strongly as natural Ara h 1 has important clinical implications, and the differences between recombinant and natural Ara h 1 reported here need to be taken into account in the refinement of new diagnostic methods.

Steve Mason

References

  1. M. Chruszcz et al. Structural and Immunologic Characterization of Ara h 1, a Major Peanut Allergen.
    J. Biol. Chem. 286, 39318-39327 (2011). doi:10.1074/jbc.M111.270132

Structural Biology Knowledgebase ISSN: 1758-1338
Funded by a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health