Allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, and sesame seeds are among the most important food-related causes of anaphylaxis. Important clinical questions include: Why is there a variable occurrence of coallergy among these foods and Is this immunologically mediated? The clinical and immunologic data summarized here suggest an immunologic basis for these coallergies that is based on similarities among the 2S albumins. Data from component resolved diagnostics have highlighted the relationship between IgE binding to these allergens and the presence of IgE-mediated food allergy. Furthermore, in vitro and in vivo experiments provide strong evidence that the 2S albumins are the most important allergens in peanuts for inducing an allergic effector response. Although the 2S albumins are diverse, they have a common disulfide-linked core with similar physicochemical properties that make them prime candidates to explain much of the observed coallergy among peanuts, tree nuts, and sesame seeds. The well-established frequency of cashew and pistachio nut coallergy (64%-100%) highlights how the structural similarities among their 2S albumins may account for observed clinical cross-reactivity. A complete understanding of the physicochemical properties of the 2S albumins in peanuts, tree nuts, and sesame seeds will enhance our ability to diagnose, treat, and ultimately prevent these allergies.
Keywords: 2S albumins; IgE; Peanuts; food allergy; tree nuts.
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