IgE-binding epitopes are related to allergic symptoms by eliciting degranulation of special cells and release of molecules that trigger the hypersensitivity reaction. Little is known about what characterises allergen IgE-binding epitopes, although advances in analytical methods have led to the identification of a large number of them. To assess if a binary classification of allergen regions into epitopes or non-epitopes may accurately reflect biological reality, we computed the fraction of allergen amino acids that are involved in epitopes. A relationship between this fraction and the increasing number of literature references was modelled. Due to the wide variety of methods that are used in the literature, a peak in the number of matches between an allergen sequence and its epitopes confirms their validity. Accordingly, our graphical representation of positive assays along sequences provides an overview of epitope localisation, which should help to highlight major positions for IgE binding to allergens.
Keywords: Allergens; Bioinformatics; Database; IgE epitopes.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.