An allergen portrait gallery: Representative structures and an overview of IgE binding surfaces

Catherine H. Schein, Ovidiu Ivanciuc, Terumi Midoro-Horiuti, Randall M. Goldblum, Werner Braun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Recent progress in the biochemical classification and structural determination of allergens and allergen-antibody complexes has enhanced our understanding of the molecular determinants of allergenicity. Databases of allergens and their epitopes have facilitated the clustering of allergens according to their sequences and, more recently, their structures. Groups of similar sequences are identified for allergenic proteins from diverse sources, and all allergens are classified into a limited number of protein structural families. A gallery of experimental structures selected from the protein classes with the largest number of allergens demonstrate the structural diversity of the allergen universe. Further comparison of these structures and identification of areas that are different from innocuous proteins within the same protein family can be used to identify features specific to known allergens. Experimental and computational results related to the determination of IgE binding surfaces and methods to define allergen-specific motifs are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-125
Number of pages13
JournalBioinformatics and Biology Insights
StatePublished - 2010


  • Allergen PFAM classification
  • Allergen specific motifs
  • Cross-reactiviy
  • IgE epitopes
  • Specific immunotherapy
  • Structural database of allergenic proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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