Peanuts are complex storage proteins with high contents and have been identified as one of the most allergenic foods. In this review, we summarize some of the latest findings and the potential importance of the Ara h 3 basic subunit, which has been overlooked as an allergen in early literature. Some recent studies indicate that Ara h 3 basic subunit may be as significant as or even a more important allergen than the acidic subunit. For example, one clinical study found a group of children with peanut allergy who were specifically sensitized to the basic subunit of Ara h 3. Although, proteomic analysis of total peanut storage proteins has revealed limited polymorphic profiles of major proteins in diverse peanut germplasm accessions, a study reported a peanut breeding line ‘GT-C9’ lacking several seed protein peptides, in which the missed major proteins were basic subunits of Ara h 3. This breeding line was shown to exhibit significantly lower levels of advanced glycation end (AGE) products and IgE binding by the sera of peanut allergic patients, which implies a role for the basic subunit of Ara h 3 in the allergenicity of peanuts. Further studies are needed to investigate the contribution of Ara h 3 basic subunits to peanut allergenicity.
Keywords: Arachis hypogaea L., groundnut, Allergen, Ara h 3, basic subunit
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