Plant protein families as a basis for predicting the allergenicity of food proteins


  • P.R. Shewry
  • J. Jenkins
  • F. Beaudoin
  • E.N.C. Mills


Plant proteins can be classified into families and superfamilies based on their sequence relationships. Comparison of these families with accepted lists of plant food-protein allergens demonstrates that only a small number of families contain characterized allergens with most of those that sensitize via the gastrointestinal tract falling into only two large superfamilies. These observations are discussed in relation to the use of plant protein family membership to predict the potential allergenicity of novel and GM foods.