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The identification of potentially pathogenic and therapeutic epitopes from common human allergens

Read time: 1 mins
Published:25th Mar 2020
Objectives: To outline the processes involved in large-scale T-cell epitope identification from common allergens and illustrate their relevance to development of allergy specific immunotherapy. Data Sources: A set of studies recently published by our laboratory illustrating high-throughput identification of allergen specific T-cell epitopes. Study Selection: T-cell responses contribute both directly and indirectly to allergy-related disease. However, the molecular targets (epitopes) recognized by allergen-specific T cells are largely undefined. We review several different studies in the last 2 years that identified novel T-cell epitopes from a panel of 32 different allergen sources. Results: Allergen-specific T-cell responses are highly heterogeneous. Epitopes prevalently recognized in allergic patients are often capable of binding to multiple HLA class II molecules. This feature can be used to predict these promiscuous epitopes by bioinformatic predictions. This approach was validated in the Timothy grass system and then applied to a panel of 31 other allergen sources. Conclusion: T-cell epitopes for common allergens have been identified, and a general method to identify epitopes from additional allergens has been validated. Characterization of epitopes for common allergens might enable new diagnostics and immunotherapy regimens. These data will also allow the study of T-cell responses in different patient populations and throughout disease progression.

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