Peanut Bioinformatics: Tools and Applications for Developing More Effective Immunotherapies for Peanut Allergy and Improving Food Safety

  • Venkatesh Kandula
  • Virginia A. Gottschalk
  • Ramesh Katam
  • Roja Rani Anupalli


Advanced tools of bioinformatics have been employed to assess the features critically required for allergenicity and cross-reactivity. A tremendous accumulation of data on plant proteins in recent years has made it possible to classify allergens in different protein families, with most food allergens grouped into four protein families. These families can be grouped together into superfamilies by comparing sequences and related structures. This information makes it possible to identify a wide range of related proteins that may result in the development of multiple food allergies that initiate the development of cross-reactive antibodies in susceptible individuals. Since peanut allergies are responsible for most episodes of food-induced anaphylaxis, a detailed immunological and molecular characterization of these allergenic components is essential to develop suitable immunotherapies. This would also allow us to screen transgenic plants for the possible development of allergens similar to those allergenic components in peanuts. Homology modeling in combination with residue-wise solvent accessibility of monomers and biological assemblies of allergens certainly gives valuable information about antigenic determinants on protein allergens. Through this review, we discuss the applications of bioinformatics tools toward the mitigation of peanut allergy.


Peanut Allergens Allergen database Ara h and transgene allergenicity 



Basic Local Alignment Search Tool


Deoxyribonucleic acid


Food Allergy Research and Resource Program


Fast alignment

GM crops

Genetically modified crops


Immunoglobulin E


International Union of Immunological Societies




Molecular weight


Open reading frames


Pathogenesis-related genes


Structural Database of Allergenic Proteins


Uniform resource locator



Venkatesh K acknowledges CSIR, New Delhi, for the financial assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Venkatesh Kandula
    • 1
  • Virginia A. Gottschalk
    • 2
  • Ramesh Katam
    • 2
  • Roja Rani Anupalli
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Genetics and BiotechnologyOsmania UniversityHyderabadIndia
  2. 2.Department of Biological Sciences, College of Science and TechnologyFlorida A&M UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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