Profiling serum antibodies with a pan allergen phage library identifies key wheat allergy epitopes

Daniel R. Monaco, Brandon M. Sie, Thomas R. Nirschl, Audrey C. Knight, Hugh A. Sampson, Anna Nowak-Wegrzyn, Robert A. Wood, Robert G. Hamilton, Pamela A. Frischmeyer-Guerrerio, H. Benjamin Larman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Allergic reactions occur when IgE molecules become crosslinked by antigens such as food proteins. Here we create the ‘AllerScan’ programmable phage display system to characterize the binding specificities of anti-allergen IgG and IgE antibodies in serum against thousands of allergenic proteins from hundreds of organisms at peptide resolution. Using AllerScan, we identify robust anti-wheat IgE reactivities in wheat allergic individuals but not in wheat-sensitized individuals. Meanwhile, a key wheat epitope in alpha purothionin elicits dominant IgE responses among allergic patients, and frequent IgG responses among sensitized and non-allergic patients. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial shows that alpha purothionin reactivity, among others, is strongly modulated by oral immunotherapy in tolerized individuals. AllerScan may thus serve as a high-throughput platform for unbiased analysis of anti-allergen antibody specificities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number379
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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