skip to Main Content
My Account  Search by Structure    

Synthetic Allergens for Studying Type-1 Hypersensitivity

Incorporating one of Quanta BioDesign’s dPEG® linkers, Notre Dame researchers created novel synthetic allergens for investigating mast cell degranulation. Researching type-1 hypersensitivity (allergic reactions) under laboratory conditions in a way that reflects hypersensitivity in the wild is challenging because in natural conditions epitopes (the part of an antigen recognized by an immune system) are heterogeneous, and the IgE antibodies formed to heterogeneous epitopes are themselves variable. To address this issue, Michael W. Handlogten, Tanyel Kiziltepe, and Başar Bilgiçer, all of the University of Notre Dame, designed and synthesized homotetravalent and heterotetravalent synthetic allergens containing Dansyl, DNP, and DNP-Pro haptens (Figure 1) in different arrangements.


Haptens used to synthesize heterotetravalent synthetic allergens
Figure 1: Haptens Used to Synthesize Heterotetravalent Synthetic Allergens

Synthetic Allergens Used a dPEG® Linker

Applying standard Fmoc-amino acid chemistry on solid support in the synthesis, the synthetic allergens used lysine to form a branched structure and Fmoc-N-amido-dPEG®8-acid (PN10273, from Quanta BioDesign, Ltd.) to provide spacing between the lysines and the haptens. (See Figure 2, below.)


PN10273, Fmoc-N-amido-dPEG®8-acid, was used to synthesize synthetic allergens used in this study.
Figure 2: Fmoc-N-amido-dPEG®8-acid (PN10273) from Quanta BioDesign, Ltd.


Quanta BioDesign’s PN10273 was chosen because it “does not form non-specific interactions with proteins, is flexible enough to minimize steric constraints for hapten binding and enhances the solubility of the hydrophobic haptens” (page 93). Moreover, the dPEG®8 linker length when attached to the lysine residues in the branched structure provided what had previously been determined to be the optimal separation distance between haptens (page 93). From each of the haptens in Figure 1, the researchers synthesized three different homotetravalent (HmTA) and two heterotetravalent (HtTA) synthetic allergens, presenting two of the haptens, each with a valence of two. HtTA-1 presented DNP and Dansyl, while HtTA-2 presented DNP-Pro and Dansyl.


Homotetravalent vs. Heterotetravalent Synthetic Allergens

Using the monoclonal antibodies IgEDNP and IgEDansyl, the research group confirmed that both antibodies bind simultaneously to the synthetic allergens. They then compared the extent of mast cell degranulation that occurred with the synthetic allergens as compared to known positive controls. (Mast cell degranulation is the first major immune system response in a hypersensitivity reaction.) They found that homotetravalent-DNP-Pro was unable to stimulate any mast cell degranulation, while homotetravalent-DNP and homotetravalent-dansyl both provoked responses that were only marginally better than the positive controls. In contrast, the two heterotetravalent synthetic allergens provoked much stronger responses than the homotetravalent allergens and the positive controls. HtTA-1 (DNP, Dansyl) induced degranulation over a wide concentration range when both antibodies were present, but failed to induce degranulation under conditions where only one antibody was present. HtTA-2 (DNP-Pro, Dansyl) had a similar ability to induce degranulation. The mast cell degranulation response demonstrated a normal (Gaussian) distribution across the concentration range tested for each synthetic allergen. Moreover, for both heterotetravalent allergens, the maximum degranulation response occurred when the total IgE on the mast cell surface was 25% IgEDansyl, 25% IgEDNP, and 50% orthogonal IgE.

This paper provides important insights into hypersensitivity reactions and demonstrates experimentally the importance of allergen valency, affinity, and cooperativity in mast cell degranulation resulting from allergen-IgE binding. Moreover, the authors have provided a valuable, flexible platform on which they and others can build other functionalities (labels, drug conjugates, and so forth) to extend this area of allergy research.

Michael W. Handlogten, Tanyel Kiziltepe, and Başar Bilgiçer. Design of a heterotetravalent synthetic allergen that reflects epitope heterogeneity and IgE antibody variability to study mast cell degranulation. Biochem. J. (2013) 449 (91-99) doi:10.1042/BJ20121088. Also available through PubMed. To see a current publications list from Professor Başar Bilgiçer’s lab, click here.

If you need the flexibility of PEG combined with the purity of Quanta BioDesign’s discrete PEG (dPEG®) technology to build your next great, ground-breaking molecule, check out our full range of PEGylation reagents at today! If you don’t see what you need, contact us for a custom synthesis. We will be very glad to help you find the right product for your needs.

Related Products from Quanta BioDesign, Ltd.

Fmoc-protected amino-dPEG®-acids

Product number 10243,  Fmoc-N-amido-dPEG®2-acid Product number 10033, Fmoc-N-amido-dPEG®3-acid
Product number 10213, Fmoc-N-amido-dPEG®4-acid Product number 10053, Fmoc-N-amido-dPEG®5-acid
Product number 10063, Fmoc-N-amido-dPEG®6-acid Product number 10273, Fmoc-N-amido-dPEG®8-acid
Product number 10283, Fmoc-N-amido-dPEG®12-acid Product number 10313, Fmoc-N-amido-dPEG®24-acid
Product number 10903, Fmoc-N-amido-dPEG®36-acid


Fmoc-protected-amino-dPEG®-NHS esters

Product number 10994, Fmoc-N-amido-dPEG®4-NHS ester Product number 10995, Fmoc-N-amido-dPEG®8-NHS ester
Product number 10996, Fmoc-N-amido-dPEG®12-NHS ester


Fmoc-protected aminooxy-dPEG®-acid

Product number 10849, Fmoc-N-amidooxy-dPEG®12-acid

boc-protected amino-dPEG®-acids

Product number 10220,  t-boc-N-amido-dPEG®4-acid Product number 10760, t-boc-N-amido-dPEG®8-acid
Product number 10761, t-boc-N-amido-dPEG®12-acid Product number 10763, t-boc-N-amido-dPEG®24-acid
Product number 10902, t-boc-N-amido-dPEG®36-acid


CBZ-protected amino-dPEG®-acids

Product number 10268, CBZ-N-amido-dPEG®4-acid Product number 10066, CBZ-N-amido-dPEG®6-acid
Product number 10276, CBZ-N-amido-dPEG®8-acid Product number 10286, CBZ-N-amido-dPEG®12-acid
Product number 10316, CBZ-N-amido-dPEG®24-acid Product number 10906, CBZ-N-amido-dPEG®36-acid



Product number 10244, amino-dPEG®4-acid Product number 10067, amino-dPEG®6-acid
Product number 10277, amino-dPEG®8-acid Product number 10287, amino-dPEG®12-acid
Product number 10317, amino-dPEG®24-acid Product number 10907, amino-dPEG®36-acid


If you want to see more peptide modification reagents…

The list above does not cover all of the peptide modification reagents manufactured and sold by Quanta BioDesign, Ltd. If you want to see still more reagents, click here for the complete list, with structures.


 Robert H. Woodman, Ph.D.

Robert Woodman earned his B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Southern Mississippi and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from The Ohio State University. He is a Sr. Production Development Scientist and the Quality Control Manager for Quanta BioDesign, Ltd. Robert has used his abilities in organic chemistry to develop new dPEG® products, and is now using his biochemistry training to develop new applications for these products. You can connect with Robert through LinkedIn.

Back To Top