Ara h 1 CD4+ T cell epitope-based peptides: Candidates for a peanut allergy therapeutic

Sara Prickett, Astrid Lida Voskamp, Tracy Phan, April Dacumos-Hill, Stuart I Mannering, Jennifer May Rolland, Robyn E O'Hehir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Peanut allergy is a life-threatening condition; there is currently no cure. While whole allergen extracts are used for specific immunotherapy for many allergies, they can cause severe reactions and even fatalities in peanut allergy. Objective: To identify short, HLA-degenerate CD4+ T cell epitope-based peptides of the major peanut allergen Ara h 1 that target allergen-specific T cells without causing IgE-mediated inflammatory cell activation, as candidates for safe peanut-specific immunotherapy. Methods: Ara h 1-specific CD4+ T cell lines (TCL) were generated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of peanut-allergic subjects using CFSE-based methodology. T cell epitopes were identified using CFSE and thymidine-based proliferation assays. Epitope HLA-restriction was investigated using blocking antibodies, HLA-genotyping and epitope prediction algorithms. Functional peanut-specific IgE reactivity to peptides was assessed by basophil activation assay. Results: A total of 145 Ara h 1-specific TCL were generated from 18 HLA-diverse peanut-allergic subjects. The TCL recognized 20-mer peptides throughout Ara h 1. Nine 20-mers containing the most frequently recognized epitopes were selected and their recognition confirmed in 18 additional peanut-allergic subjects. Ten core epitopes were mapped within these 20-mers. These were HLA-DQ and/or HLA-DR restricted, with each presented on at least two different HLA-molecules. Seven short (= 20 aa) non-basophil-reactive peptides encompassing all core epitopes were designed and validated in peanut-allergic donor PBMC T cell assays. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance: Short CD4+ T cell epitope-based Ara h 1 peptides were identified as novel candidates for a safe, T cell targeted peanut-specific immunotherapy for HLA-diverse populations
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)684 - 697
Number of pages14
JournalClinical & Experimental Allergy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Cite this