Date of Award

Fall 12-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Biological Sciences


Biological Sciences

Major Professor

Wendy Schluchter

Second Advisor

Soheila J. Maleki

Third Advisor

Zhengchang Liu

Fourth Advisor

Barry K. Hurlburt


Abstract There are eight foods that contribute to food allergies in the western world and peanut is the most common. Currently, there are no medical treatments that can cure an individual of food allergy, so avoidance of the allergic food is the only option. In the United States, there are three immunodominant allergic proteins accountable for patient sensitization to peanut, Arachis hypogea 1, 2, and 3 (Ara h 1, Ara h 2, Ara h 3). Therefore, research into why peanuts are more allergic than other foods that have homologous proteins is critical and may be obtained by studying the structural and allergenic properties of individual allergens and the changes that occur due to food processing. In this study, the basic and acidic subunits of Ara h 3 were cloned, expressed, and purified, and compared with each other and with the native Ara h 3 purified from peanut for differences in binding to IgE from peanut allergic individuals. Also, an in vitro Maillard reaction was performed on purified native raw Ara h 3 and patient serum IgE western blots were performed. This study concluded that an in vitro Maillard reaction enhanced IgE binding to Ara h 3, IgE binding to native Ara h 3 was in most cases higher than to the recombinant Ara h 3 subunits, and recognition of the acidic subunit was much higher than the and basic subunits in both the recombinant and native forms of the protein were investigated. Keywords:


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