No accepted and validated methods are currently available which can accurately predict protein allergenicity. In this study, the role of digestion and transport on protein allergenicity was investigated METHODS AND RESULTS: Peanut allergens (Ara h 1, 2, 3, and 6) and a milk allergen (β-lactoglobulin) were transported across pig intestinal epithelium using the InTESTine™ model and afterwards basophil activation was measured to assess the (remaining) functional properties. Additionally, allergens were digested by pepsin prior to epithelial transport and their allergenicity was assessed in a human mast cell activation assay. Remarkably, transported Ara h 1 and 3 were not able to activate basophils, in contrast to Ara h 2 and 6. Digestion prior to transport resulted in a significant increase in mast cell activation of Ara h 1 and 3 dependent on the length of digestion time. Activation of mast cells by Ara h 2 and 6 was unaffected by digestion prior to transport.
Digestion and transport influences the allergenicity of Ara h 1 and 3, but not of Ara h 2 and 6. The influence of digestion and transport on protein allergenicity might explain why current in vitro assays are not predictive for allergenicity This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

References

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