Supplementary Material for: Ara h 2 and Ara h 6 Have Similar Allergenic Activity and Are Substantially Redundant

Background: The moderately homologous (approx. 60%) proteins Ara h 2 and Ara h 6 are the most potent peanut allergens. This study was designed to define the relative individual contributions of Ara h 2 and Ara h 6 to the overall allergenic activity of a crude peanut extract (CPE). Methods: Ara h 2 and Ara h 6 were removed from CPE by gel filtration chromatography. Ara h 2.01, Ara h 2.02 and Ara h 6 were further purified (>99%). The potency of each allergen and the ability of these allergens to reconstitute the allergenic activity of CPE depleted of Ara h 2 and Ara h 6 was measured with RBL SX-38 cells sensitized with IgE from sensitized peanut allergic patients. Results: The potency of the native proteins were significantly different (p < 0.0001) although not dramatically so, with a rank order of Ara h 2.01 > Ara h 2.02 > Ara h 6. The addition of either purified Ara h 2 or Ara h 6 independently at their original concentration to CPE depleted of both Ara h 2 and Ara h 6 restored 80–100% of the original CPE allergenic activity. Addition of both Ara h 2 and Ara h 6 consistently completely restored the allergenic activity of CPE. Conclusions: These studies indicate that either Ara h 2 or Ara h 6 independently can account for most of the allergenic activity in a CPE and demonstrate important redundancy in the allergenic activity of these related molecules.