Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2008;46(9):3219-3225
Abstract: The International Life Science Institute’s Health and Environmental Sciences Institute’s Protein Allergenicity Technical Committee hosted an international workshop October 23–25, 2007, in Nice, France, to review and discuss existing and emerging methods and techniques for improving the current weight-of-evidence approach for evaluating the potential allergenicity of novel proteins. The workshop included over 40 international experts from government, industry, and academia. Their expertise represented a range of disciplines including immunology, chemistry, molecular biology, bioinformatics, and toxicology. Among participants, there was consensus that (1) current bioinformatic approaches are highly conservative; (2) advances in bioinformatics using structural comparisons of proteins may be helpful as the availability of structural data increases; (3) proteomics may prove useful for monitoring the natural variability in a plant’s proteome and assessing the impact of biotechnology transformations on endogenous levels of allergens, but only when analytical techniques have been standardized and additional data are available on the natural variation of protein expression in non-transgenic bred plants; (4) basophil response assays are promising techniques, but need additional evaluation around specificity, sensitivity, and reproducibility; (5) additional research is required to develop and validate an animal model for the purpose of predicting protein allergenicity.
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