Identification of the basic subunit of Ara h 3 as the major allergen in a group of children allergic to peanuts

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2005 Feb;94(2):262-6. doi: 10.1016/S1081-1206(10)61306-3.


Background: Several proteins have been identified as peanut allergens; among them, Ara h 1 (7S globulin) and Ara h 2 (2S globulin) are usually considered the major allergens.

Objective: To identify the major allergens in a group of children selected for their specific pattern of immunoreactivity.

Methods: We identified the dominant allergen by using (1) amino acid sequencing of the bands that show the strongest IgE immunoreactivity in 1-dimensional electrophoresis and immunoblotting and (2) specific animal IgGs raised against the dominant immunoreactive band to pinpoint the allergen(s) in peanut proteins separated by 2-dimensional electrophoresis and immunoblotting. To confirm these data, we further examined the peanut proteome using serum samples from the children with the unusual immunoreactivity.

Results: We found a group of children with marked peanut allergy who are specifically sensitized to the basic subunit of Ara h 3 (11S globulin family).

Conclusion: That the dominant immunoreactivity in these patients is in a basic subunit of Ara h 3 was unexpected, because previous studies had indicated that Ara h 3 was only a minor peanut allergen and that the identified allergenic epitopes occurred mainly in the acidic Ara h 3 subunit.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / analysis*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antigens, Plant
  • Arachis / chemistry*
  • Arachis / immunology
  • Child
  • Comet Assay
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Immunoblotting
  • Peanut Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Seed Storage Proteins


  • Allergens
  • Antigens, Plant
  • Seed Storage Proteins
  • allergen Ara h3