MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Geoffrey Mueller, Ph.D.
Genome Integrity and Structural Biology Laboratory
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
National Institutes of Health
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: While allergic disease is a wide spread problem, it is actually a select few proteins, called allergens, that initiate allergy symptoms. This study was focused on looking for fundamental biochemical differences between allergens and non-allergens derived from the house dust mite.
We found that the mite allergens, as a group, are distinctly different from the non-allergens in that they are more highly produced, and more stable. Previous anecdotal evidence suggested that these properties would lead to more allergens surviving the journey from the source (either mites or pollens) to a person. In addition, the greater stability of allergens may influence the decision making of the immune system to target these proteins as dangerous instead of harmless.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Understanding the properties of allergens versus non-allergens will hopefully lead to a better understanding of how the immune system decides which proteins are safe and which proteins are dangerous. This finding could lead to better designed therapies, such as allergy shots.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: Dust mites are a major cause of allergic disease and asthma in the world. However, they are not the only source. We are currently trying to replicate these findings in other sources of indoor allergens, for example cockroaches, and outdoor allergen sources, including pollens.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: This project has been an excellent collaboration of academic and industrial research groups. Various technical specialties at Duke University, Wright State University, Indoor Biotechnologies, and NIEHS all came together very nicely for a high quality research project.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Are Dust Mite Allergens More Abundant or More Stable Than Other Dermatophagoides Pteronyssinus Proteins?
Randall, Thomas A. et al.
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology , Volume 137 , Issue 2 , AB268
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