BACKGROUND: Soybean is considered an important allergenic food, but published data on soybean allergens are controversial. OBJECTIVE: We sought to identify relevant soybean allergens and correlate the IgE-binding pattern to clinical characteristics in European patients with confirmed soy allergy. METHODS: IgE-reactive proteins were identified from a soybean cDNA expression library, purified from natural soybean source, or expressed in Escherichia coli. The IgE reactivity in 30 sera from subjects with a positive double-blind, placebo-controlled soybean challenge (n = 25) or a convincing history of anaphylaxis to soy (n = 5) was analyzed by ELISA or CAP-FEIA. RESULTS: All subunits of Gly m 5 (beta-conglycinin) and Gly m 6 (glycinin) were IgE-reactive: 53% (16/30) of the study subjects had specific IgE to at least 1 major storage protein, 43% (13/30) to Gly m 5 , and 36% (11/30) to Gly m 6. Gly m 5 was IgE-reactive in 5 of 5 and Gly m 6 in 3 of 5 children. IgE-binding to Gly m 5 or Gly m 6 was found in 86% (6/7) subjects with anaphylaxis to soy and in 55% (6/11) of subjects with moderate but only 33% (4/12) of subjects with mild soy-related symptoms. The odds ratio (P < .05) for severe versus mild allergic reactions in subjects with specific IgE to Gly m 5 or Gly m6 was 12/1. CONCLUSION: Sensitization to the soybean allergens Gly m 5 or Gly m 6 is potentially indicative for severe allergic reactions to soy.