[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Protein-folding intermediates have been implicated in amyloid fibril formation involved in neurodegenerative disorders. However, the structural mechanisms by which intermediates initiate fibrillar aggregation have remained largely elusive. To gain insight, we used relaxation dispersion nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to determine the structure of a low-populated, on-pathway folding intermediate of the A39V/N53P/V55L (A, Ala; V, Val; N, Asn; P, Pro; L, Leu) Fyn SH3 domain. The carboxyl terminus remains disordered in this intermediate, thereby exposing the aggregation-prone amino-terminal β strand. Accordingly, mutants lacking the carboxyl terminus and thus mimicking the intermediate fail to safeguard the folding route and spontaneously form fibrillar aggregates. The structure provides a detailed characterization of the non-native interactions stabilizing an aggregation-prone intermediate under native conditions and insight into how such an intermediate can derail folding and initiate fibrillation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domains are found frequently on the surface of tailed double-stranded DNA bacteriophages, yet their functional role remains obscure. Here, we have investigated the structure and function of the C-terminal Ig-like domain of gpV (gpV(C)), the tail tube protein of phage λ. This domain has been predicted through sequence similarity to be a member of the bacterial Ig-like domain 2 (Big_2) family, which is composed of more than 1300 phage and bacterial sequences. Using trypsin proteolysis, we have delineated the boundaries of gpV(C) and have shown that its removal reduces the biological activity of gpV by 100-fold; thus providing a definitive demonstration of a functional role for this domain. Determination of the solution structure of gpV(C) by NMR spectroscopy showed that it adopts a canonical Ig-like fold of the I-set class. This represents the first structure of a phage-encoded Ig-like domain and only the second structure of a Big_2 domain. Structural and sequence comparisons indicate that the gpV(C) structure is more representative of both the phage-encoded Big_2 domains and Big_2 domains in general than the other available Big_2 structure. Bioinformatics analyses have identified two conserved clusters of residues on the surface of gpV(C) that may be important in mediating the function of this domain.
Journal of Molecular Biology 10/2010; 403(3):468-79. · 3.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evolutionary relationships may exist among very diverse groups of proteins even though they perform different functions and display little sequence similarity. The tailed bacteriophages present a uniquely amenable system for identifying such groups because of their huge diversity yet conserved genome structures. In this work, we used structural, functional, and genomic context comparisons to conclude that the head-tail connector protein and tail tube protein of bacteriophage lambda diverged from a common ancestral protein. Further comparisons of tertiary and quaternary structures indicate that the baseplate hub and tail terminator proteins of bacteriophage may also be part of this same family. We propose that all of these proteins evolved from a single ancestral tail tube protein fold, and that gene duplication followed by differentiation led to the specialized roles of these proteins seen in bacteriophages today. Although this type of evolutionary mechanism has been proposed for other systems, our work provides an evolutionary mechanism for a group of proteins with different functions that bear no sequence similarity. Our data also indicate that the addition of a structural element at the N terminus of the lambda head-tail connector protein endows it with a distinctive protein interaction capability compared with many of its putative homologues.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2010; 107(32):14384-9. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: NMR relaxation dispersion spectroscopy is a powerful method for studying protein conformational dynamics whereby visible, ground and invisible, excited conformers interconvert on the millisecond time-scale. In addition to providing kinetics and thermodynamics parameters of the exchange process, the CPMG dispersion experiment also allows extraction of the absolute values of the chemical shift differences between interconverting states, /Delta(omega)/, opening the way for structure determination of excited state conformers. Central to the goal of structural analysis is the availability of the chemical shifts of the excited state that can only be obtained once the signs of Delta(omega) are known. Herein we describe a very simple method for determining the signs of (1)H(N) Delta(omega) values based on a comparison of peak positions in the directly detected dimensions of a pair of (1)H(N)-(15)N correlation maps recorded at different static magnetic fields. The utility of the approach is demonstrated for three proteins that undergo millisecond time-scale conformational rearrangements. Although the method provides fewer signs than previously published techniques it does have a number of strengths: (1) Data sets needed for analysis are typically available from other experiments, such as those required for measuring signs of (15)N Delta(omega) values, thus requiring no additional experimental time, (2) acquisition times in the critical detection dimension can be as long as necessary and (3) the signs obtained can be used to cross-validate those from other approaches.
Journal of Biomolecular NMR 06/2010; 47(2):135-41. · 2.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A simple method is presented for quantifying Ile chi(2) rotamer distributions in proteins based on the measurement of Ile (13)C(delta1) chemical shifts. The methodology is well suited for applications involving very high molecular weight protein complexes, where other NMR parameters such as side-chain scalar coupling constants that report on dihedral angles cannot be measured or for studies of invisible, excited protein states, where chemical shifts are obtained from analysis of CPMG relaxation dispersion profiles. The utility of the approach is demonstrated by an application to the folding reaction of a mutant Fyn SH3 domain, where Ile side-chain structure and dynamics of an on-folding pathway intermediate state are studied.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 06/2010; 132(22):7589-91. · 10.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The formation of nonfibrillar oligomers has been proposed as a common element of the aggregation pathway of proteins and peptides associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. While fibrillar structures have long been considered indicators of diseases linked with the accumulation of amyloid plaques, it has more recently been proposed that amyloid oligomers are in fact the cytotoxic form. Here we describe the local structure and dynamics of stable oligomers formed by a peptide comprising residues 106-126 of the human prion protein (PrP). Structural constraints from solid-state NMR reveal quaternary packing interactions within the hydrophobic core, similar to those previously reported for amyloid fibrils formed by this peptide, and consistent with structural studies of oligomers formed by the Alzheimer's beta-amyloid peptide. However, a hydration-dependent increase in disorder is observed for nonfibrillar oligomers of PrP(106-126). In solution NMR spectra we observe narrow (1)H and (13)C resonances corresponding to a monomer in exchange with the approximately 30 nm diameter nonfibrillar oligomers, giving additional information on the molecular structure of these species. Taken together, our data support a model in which the local structure of the oligomers contains the basic elements of amyloid fibrils, but with long-range disorder and local mobility that distinguishes these assemblies from the fibrillar form of PrP(106-126). These characteristics may provide a basis for the differing biological activities of amyloid fibrils and oligomers.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 06/2010; 132(22):7684-95. · 10.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Understanding how proteins adopt their unique native structures requires a complete structural characterization of the rate-limiting transition state(s) along the folding pathway. By definition, transition states are not significantly populated and are only accessible via folding kinetics studies. In this respect, interpreting the kinetic effects of amino acid substitutions (especially to Ala) via Phi-value analysis is the most common method to probe the structure of these transient, yet important states. A critical review of the key assumptions required for rigorous interpretation of Phi values reveals that a multiple substitution strategy in which a position of interest is mutated to a variety of amino acids, and not exclusively to Ala, provides the best means to characterize folding transition states. This approach has proven useful in revealing non-native interactions and (or) conformations in folding transition states. Moreover, by simultaneously examining the folding kinetics of multiple substitutions made at a single surface-exposed position using the Brønsted analysis the backbone conformation in a folding transition state can be investigated. For folding equilibria with exchange rates on the order of milliseconds, the kinetic parameters for Phi-value analysis can be obtained from NMR relaxation dispersion experiments, under fully native conditions, along with a wealth of high-resolution structural information about the states in exchange (native, denatured, and intermediate states that populate the pathway). This additional structural information, which is not readily obtained through stopped-flow based methods, can significantly facilitate the interpretation of Phi values because it often reports on the validity of the assumptions required for a rigorous interpretation of Phi values.
Biochemistry and Cell Biology 04/2010; 88(2):231-8. · 2.92 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill (CPMG) relaxation dispersion NMR spectroscopy has emerged as a powerful tool for quantifying the kinetics and thermodynamics of millisecond exchange processes between a major, populated ground state and one or more minor, low populated and often invisible 'excited' conformers. Analysis of CPMG data-sets also provides the magnitudes of the chemical shift difference(s) between exchanging states (|Deltavarpi|), that inform on the structural properties of the excited state(s). The sign of Deltavarpi is, however, not available from CPMG data. Here we present one-dimensional NMR experiments for measuring the signs of (1)H(N) and (13)C(alpha) Deltavarpi values using weak off-resonance R (1rho ) relaxation measurements, extending the spin-lock approach beyond previous applications focusing on the signs of (15)N and (1)H(alpha) shift differences. The accuracy of the method is established by using an exchanging system where the invisible, excited state can be converted to the visible, ground state by altering conditions so that the signs of Deltavarpi values obtained from the spin-lock approach can be validated with those measured directly. Further, the spin-lock experiments are compared with the established H(S/M)QC approach for measuring the signs of chemical shift differences. For the Abp1p and Fyn SH3 domains considered here it is found that while H(S/M)QC measurements provide signs for more residues than the spin-lock data, the two different methodologies are complementary, so that combining both approaches frequently produces signs for more residues than when the H(S/M)QC method is used alone.
Journal of Biomolecular NMR 03/2010; 46(3):205-16. · 2.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fits of Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill (CPMG) relaxation dispersion profiles allow extraction of the kinetics and thermodynamics of exchange reactions that interconvert highly populated, ground state and low populated, excited state conformers. Structural information is also available in the form of chemical shift differences between the interconverting protein states. Here we present a very simple method for extracting chi(2) rotamer distributions of Leu side chains in 'invisible' excited protein states based on measurement of their (13)C(delta1)/(13)C(delta2) chemical shifts using methyl CPMG dispersion experiments. The methodology is applied to study the protein folding reaction of the Fyn SH3 domain. A uniform chi(2) rotamer distribution is obtained for Leu residues of the unfolded state, with each Leu occupying the trans and gauche+ conformations in a 2:1 ratio. By contrast, leucines of an 'invisible' Fyn SH3 domain folding intermediate show a much more heterogeneous distribution of chi(2) rotamer populations. The experiment provides an important tool toward the quantitative characterization of both the structural and dynamics properties of states that cannot be studied by other biophysical tools.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 12/2009; 132(1):42-3. · 10.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Analysis of Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill (CPMG) relaxation dispersion NMR profiles provides the kinetics and thermodynamics of millisecond-time-scale exchange processes involving the interconversion of populated ground and invisible excited states. In addition, the absolute values of chemical shift differences between NMR probes in the exchanging states, |Delta omega|, are also extracted. Herein, we present a simple experiment for obtaining the sign of (1)H(alpha) Delta omega values by measuring off-resonance (1)H(alpha) decay rates, R(1rho), using weak proton spin-lock fields. A pair of R(1rho) values is measured with a spin-lock field applied |Delta omega| downfield and upfield of the major-state peak. In many cases, these two relaxation rates differ substantially, with the larger one corresponding to the case where the spin-lock field coincides with the resonance frequency of the probe in the minor state. The utility of the methodology is demonstrated first on a system involving protein ligand exchange and subsequently on an SH3 domain exchanging between a folded state and its on-pathway folding intermediate. With this experiment, it thus becomes possible to determine (1)H(alpha) chemical shifts of the invisible excited state, which can be used as powerful restraints in defining the structural properties of these elusive conformers.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 08/2009; 131(31):10832-3. · 10.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Characterization of the mechanisms by which proteins fold into their native conformations is important not only for protein structure prediction and design but also because protein misfolding intermediates may play critical roles in fibril formation that are commonplace in neurodegenerative disorders. In practice, the study of folding pathways is complicated by the fact that for the most part intermediates are low-populated and short-lived so that biophysical studies are difficult. Due to recent methodological advances, relaxation dispersion NMR spectroscopy has emerged as a particularly powerful tool to obtain high-resolution structural information about protein folding events on the millisecond timescale. Applications of the methodology to study the folding of SH3 domains have shown that folding proceeds via previously undetected on-pathway intermediates, sometimes stabilized by nonnative long-range interactions. The relaxation dispersion approach provides a detailed kinetic and thermodynamic description of the folding process as well as the promise of obtaining an atomic level structural description of intermediate states. We review the concerted application of a variety of recently developed NMR relaxation dispersion experiments to obtain a "high-resolution" picture of the folding pathway of the A39V/N53P/V55L Fyn SH3 domain.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In many cases, patients allergic to birch pollen also show allergic reactions after ingestion of certain fruits or vegetables. This observation is explained at the molecular level by cross-reactivity of IgE antibodies induced by sensitization to the major birch pollen allergen Bet v 1 with homologous food allergens. As IgE antibodies recognize conformational epitopes, a precise structural characterization of the allergens involved is necessary to understand cross-reactivity and thus to develop new methods of allergen-specific immunotherapy for allergic patients. Here, we report the three-dimensional solution structure of the soybean allergen Gly m 4, a member of the superfamily of Bet v 1 homologous proteins and a cross-reactant with IgE antibodies originally raised against Bet v 1 as shown by immunoblot inhibition and histamine release assays. Although the overall fold of Gly m 4 is very similar to that of Bet v 1, the three-dimensional structures of these proteins differ in detail. The Gly m 4 local structures that display those differences are also found in proteins from yellow lupine with known physiological function. The three-dimensional structure of Gly m 4 may thus shed some light on the physiological function of this subgroup of PR10 proteins (class 10 of pathogenesis-related proteins) and, in combination with immunological data, allow us to propose surface patches that might represent cross-reactive epitopes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The SH2 domain of cytoplasmic tyrosine kinases can enhance catalytic activity and substrate recognition, but the molecular mechanisms by which this is achieved are poorly understood. We have solved the structure of the prototypic SH2-kinase unit of the human Fes tyrosine kinase, which appears specialized for positive signaling. In its active conformation, the SH2 domain tightly interacts with the kinase N-terminal lobe and positions the kinase alphaC helix in an active configuration through essential packing and electrostatic interactions. This interaction is stabilized by ligand binding to the SH2 domain. Our data indicate that Fes kinase activation is closely coupled to substrate recognition through cooperative SH2-kinase-substrate interactions. Similarly, we find that the SH2 domain of the active Abl kinase stimulates catalytic activity and substrate phosphorylation through a distinct SH2-kinase interface. Thus, the SH2 and catalytic domains of active Fes and Abl pro-oncogenic kinases form integrated structures essential for effective tyrosine kinase signaling.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many experimental and theoretical studies have suggested a significant role for nonnative interactions in protein folding pathways, but the energetic contributions of these interactions are not well understood. We have addressed the energetics and the position specificity of nonnative hydrophobic interactions by developing a continuum coarse-grained chain model with a native-centric potential augmented by sequence-dependent hydrophobic interactions. By modeling the effect of different hydrophobicity values at various positions in the Fyn SH3 domain, we predicted energetically significant nonnative interactions that led to acceleration or deceleration of the folding rate depending on whether they were more populated in the transition state or unfolded state. These nonnative contacts were centered on position 53 in the Fyn SH3 domain, which lies in an exposed position in a 3(10)-helix. The energetic importance of the predicted nonnative interactions was confirmed experimentally by folding kinetics studies combined with double mutant thermodynamic cycles. By attaining agreement of theoretical and experimental investigations, this study provides a compelling demonstration that specific nonnative interactions can significantly influence folding energetics. Moreover, we show that a coarse-grained model with a simple consideration of hydrophobicity is sufficient for the accurate prediction of kinetically important nonnative interactions.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2008; 105(29):9999-10004. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill relaxation dispersion NMR spectroscopy has evolved into a powerful approach for the study of low populated, invisible conformations of biological molecules. One of the powerful features of the experiment is that chemical shift differences between the exchanging conformers can be obtained, providing structural information about invisible excited states. Through the development of new labeling approaches and NMR experiments it is now possible to measure backbone 13C(alpha) and 13CO relaxation dispersion profiles in proteins without complications from 13C-13C couplings. Such measurements are presented here, along with those that probe exchange using 15N and 1HN nuclei. A key experimental design has been the choice of an exchanging system where excited-state chemical shifts were known from independent measurement. Thus it is possible to evaluate quantitatively the accuracy of chemical shift differences obtained in dispersion experiments and to establish that in general very accurate values can be obtained. The experimental work is supplemented by computations that suggest that similarly accurate shifts can be measured in many cases for systems with exchange rates and populations that fall within the range of those that can be quantified by relaxation dispersion. The accuracy of the extracted chemical shifts opens up the possibility of obtaining quantitative structural information of invisible states of the sort that is now available from chemical shifts recorded on ground states of proteins.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 03/2008; 130(8):2667-75. · 10.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Experimental studies of protein folding frequently are consistent with two-state folding kinetics. However, recent NMR relaxation dispersion studies of several fast-folding mutants of the Fyn Src homology 3 (SH3) domain have established that folding proceeds through a low-populated on-pathway intermediate, which could not be detected with stopped-flow experiments. The dispersion experiments provide precise kinetic and thermodynamic parameters that describe the folding pathway, along with a detailed site-specific structural characterization of both the intermediate and unfolded states from the NMR chemical shifts that are extracted. Here we describe NMR relaxation dispersion Phi-value analysis of the A39V/N53P/V55L Fyn SH3 domain, where the effects of suitable point mutations on the energy landscape are quantified, providing additional insight into the structure of the folding intermediate along with per-residue structural information of both rate-limiting transition states that was not available from previous studies. In addition to the advantage of delineating the full three-state folding pathway, the use of NMR relaxation dispersion as opposed to stopped-flow kinetics to quantify Phi values facilitates their interpretation because the obtained chemical shifts monitor any potential structural changes along the folding pathway that might be introduced by mutation, a significant concern in their analysis. Phi-Value analysis of several point mutations of A39V/N53P/V55L Fyn SH3 establishes that the beta(3)-beta(4)-hairpin already is formed in the first transition state, whereas strand beta(1), which forms nonnative interactions in the intermediate, does not fully adopt its native conformation until after the final transition state. The results further support the notion that on-pathway intermediates can be stabilized by nonnative contacts.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2007; 104(40):15717-22. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent 15N and 13C spin-relaxation dispersion studies of fast-folding mutants of the Fyn SH3 domain have established that folding proceeds through a low-populated on-pathway intermediate (I) where the central beta-sheet is at least partially formed, but without interactions between the NH2- and COOH-terminal beta-strands that exist in the folded state (F). Initial studies focused on mutants where Gly48 is replaced; in an effort to establish whether this intermediate is a general feature of Fyn SH3 folding a series of 15N relaxation experiments monitoring the folding of Fyn SH3 mutants N53P/V55L and A39V/N53P/V55L are reported here. For these mutants as well, folding proceeds through an on-pathway intermediate with similar features to those observed for G48M and G48V Fyn SH3 domains. However, the 15N chemical shifts extracted for the intermediate indicate pronounced non-native contacts between the NH2 and COOH-terminal regions not observed previously. The kinetic parameters extracted for the folding of A39V/N53P/V55L Fyn SH3 from the three-state folding model F<-->I<-->U are in good agreement with folding and unfolding rates extrapolated to zero denaturant obtained from stopped-flow experiments analyzed in terms of a simplified two-state folding reaction. The folding of the triple mutant was studied over a wide range of temperatures, establishing that there is no difference in heat capacities between F and I states. This confirms a compact folding intermediate structure, which is supported by the 15N chemical shifts of the I state extracted from the dispersion data. The temperature-dependent relaxation data simplifies data analysis because at low temperatures (< 25 degrees C) the unfolded state (U) is negligibly populated relative to I and F. A comparison between parameters extracted at low temperatures where the F<-->I exchange model is appropriate with those from the more complex, three-state model at higher temperatures has been used to validate the protocol for analysis of three-site exchange relaxation data.
Journal of Molecular Biology 11/2006; 363(5):958-76. · 3.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Src homology 3 (SH3) domains are small modules that are thought to fold via a two-state mechanism, without the accumulation of significant populations of intermediate states. Relaxation dispersion NMR studies of the folding of G48V and G48M mutants of the Fyn SH3 domain have established that, at least for these modules, folding proceeds through the formation of a transient on-pathway intermediate with an equilibrium population of 1-2% that can be readily detected [Korzhnev, D. M., et al. (2004) Nature 430, 586-590]. To investigate the generality of this result, we present an (15)N relaxation dispersion NMR study of a pair of additional SH3 domains, including a G48V mutant of a stabilized Abp1p SH3 domain that shares 36% sequence identity with the Fyn SH3 module, and a A39V/N53P/V55L mutant Fyn SH3 domain. A transient folding intermediate is detected for both of the proteins studied here, and the dispersion data are well fit to a folding model of the form F <--> I <--> U, where F, I, and U correspond to folded, intermediate, and unfolded states, respectively. The temperature dependencies of the folding/unfolding rate constants were obtained so that the thermodynamic properties of each of F, I, and U could be established. The detection of I states in folding pathways of all SH3 domains examined to date via relaxation dispersion NMR spectroscopy indicates that such intermediates may well be a conserved feature in the folding of such domains in general but that their transient nature along with their low population makes detection difficult using more well-established approaches to the study of folding.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recently a suite of six CPMG relaxation dispersion experiments has been described for quantifying millisecond time-scale exchange processes in proteins. The methodology has been applied to study the folding reaction of a G48M Fyn SH3 domain mutant that exchanges between the native state, and low populated unfolded and intermediate states. A complex non-linear global optimization protocol allows extraction of the kinetics and thermodynamics of the 3-site exchange process from the experimental data, as well as reconstruction of the amide group chemical shifts of the excited states. We show here, through a series of Monte-Carlo simulations on various synthetic data sets, that the 3-site exchange parameters extracted for this system on the basis of (15)N single-quantum (SQ) dispersion profiles exclusively, recorded at a single temperature, are significantly in error. While a temperature dependent (15)N study improves the robustness of extracted parameters, as does a combined analysis of (15)N and (1)H SQ data sets measured at a single temperature, the best agreement is observed in cases where the full complement of six dispersion profiles per residue is analyzed.
Journal of Biomolecular NMR 04/2006; 34(3):129-35. · 2.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A clinically relevant allergic reaction requires recognition of at least two different epitopes on the surface of the allergen by IgE. These epitopes may be specific or cross-reactive. Moreover, patterns of IgE reactivity may be patient-specific. The aim of our study was to compare specific and cross-reactive IgE epitopes and epitope patterns between individual patients. We used Bet v 1-related food allergy as a model.
Five patients were investigated by cross-competitive ELISA for specific and cross-reacting IgE to Bet v 1, and its homologues Gly m 4 (soybean), Ara h 8 (peanut), and Pru av 1 (cherry). Allergen-specific as well as cross-reactive IgE epitopes were assessed by competitive immunoscreening of a phage-displayed random 7-mer peptide library using polyclonal purified IgE from individual sera. The resulting peptide mimics were mapped on the surface of the 3D-structure of the allergens using a computer-based algorithm.
Competitive immunoscreening and epitope mapping identified patient-specific IgE epitope patterns. However, one IgE-binding surface area that was recognized by all patients and two recognized by three patients were identified on all four proteins. These results are consistent with the determination of IgE cross-reactivity of the individual patients' sera against the four recombinant allergens by cross-competitive ELISA.
Selection of phage-displayed peptide mimics with serum IgE from allergic patients in combination with computer-based mapping of the peptide mimics onto the surface of the three-dimensional allergen structure is a promising novel tool to investigate IgE epitope specificity in individual patients. Such basic information on epitope structure may be used for prediction of cross-reactivity and potential allergenicity of novel foods.