Recognition of multiepitope dendrimeric antigens by human immunoglobulin E

Nanomedicine. 2015 Apr;11(3):579-88. doi: 10.1016/j.nano.2015.01.006. Epub 2015 Feb 7.


In vitro drug allergy tests have limited sensitivity, partly due to a poor understanding of the immunological recognition of in vitro drug-protein conjugates. We have designed and synthesized multivalent mono- and bi-epitope dendrimeric antigen (DeAn) conjugates and studied their chemical and tridimensional structures. We describe differences in the spatial distribution and conformation of these conjugated epitopes for the first time: a partially hidden benzylpenicilloyl and a more exposed amoxicilloyl. Our data suggest that DeAn conjugates provide a useful model for studying IgE recognition in patients who suffer from an allergic reaction to benzylpenicillin and/or amoxicillin. 1D and 2D NMR, MDS and immunochemical studies provide evidence that both antigen composition and tridimensional distribution play key roles in IgE-antigen recognition. Bi-epitope DeAn conjugates could potentially allow the diagnosis of patients allergic to any of these two drugs with a single test and represent the basis for a broadly-applicable in vitro assay. From the clinical editor: The prevalence of allergic drug reactions is rising and there is an imperative need to identify patients at risk. In this interesting and important article, the authors developed a novel method for detecting drug specific IgE antibodies, responsible for allergic reactions, by using multivalent mono- and bi-epitope Dendrimeric Antigen (DeAn) conjugates. The continued success of this research may pave way of eventual development of a simple diagnostic test.

Keywords: Allergy; Dendrimer; Immune response; Immunochemistry; In vitro test; Molecular modeling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amoxicillin / chemistry*
  • Amoxicillin / immunology
  • Dendrimers / chemistry*
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Epitopes / chemistry*
  • Epitopes / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / chemistry*
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Male
  • Penicillin G / chemistry*
  • Penicillin G / immunology


  • Dendrimers
  • Epitopes
  • PAMAM Starburst
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Amoxicillin
  • Penicillin G