Supplementary Material for: Evidence for a Role of TGF-β-Activated Kinase 1 and MAP3K7 Binding Protein 3 in Peanut-Specific T-Cell Responses

Peanut allergy is considered to be the most common cause for food-induced anaphylaxis. Currently, no approved treatment is available. Avoidance is the only measure to prevent anaphylactic reactions to peanuts. T-helper cells are of special importance for the sensitization process and the maintenance of allergic inflammation. Identifying markers of allergen-specific T-cell responses may help to develop novel treatment approaches. Therefore, we aimed to define new T-cell target genes in Ara h 2-specific T cells and to investigate the possibility of using them as biomarkers of peanut allergy in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). We performed whole mRNA array analysis (whole human genome oligo microarray) of in vitro expanded Ara h 2-specific T cells (CFSElowCD3+CD4+) from 5 peanut-allergic (PA) and 5 non-peanut-sensitized individuals. Expression of selected genes as a result of a two-step bioinformatic approach was confirmed in a second cohort by quantitative PCR. TGF-β- activated kinase 1 and MAP3K7 binding protein 3 (TAB3), calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase type IV (CAMK4) and HemK methyltransferase family member 1 (HEMK1) were significantly upregulated in Ara h 2-specific T cells of PA patients. In addition, the expression of these genes was also assessed in unstimulated PBMCs from a cohort (n = 43) of PA, atopic non-PA, and nonatopic controls. Interestingly, in unstimulated PBMCs, TAB3 expression was significantly downregulated in PA patients compared to atopic non-PA individuals. Thus, TAB3 may play a significant role at the level of T-cell activation and may also be a candidate biomarker for PA.