Allergens need collaborators to cause allergy — ScienceDaily

Researchers from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) find direct evidence that the ligands, compounds carried by allergens, are actively involved in the allergic sensitization phase.

Researchers from Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics (CBGP), a joint research centre of UPM and INIA, ha found that certain compounds carried by allergic proteins would be collaborating agents needed in the processes that trigger immune responses with the appearance of allergic symptoms.

This study was carried out by researchers from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, Swiss Allergy Centre in Zurich and Institute of Applied Molecular Medicine of Universidad San Pablo CEU in Madrid. The obtained results will help develop preventive methods and effective treatments for allergies.

In spite of a great effort, fundamental questions on the molecular and immunological origin of allergies are still ignored. Many studies have sought solutions to an ancient enigma: why some proteins cause allergies despite being very similar to others that are harmless. Researchers achieved to identify the proteins which are common allergens are in pollen, mites, domestic animals, food…

Unfortunately, the characteristics of these proteins linked to allergens have been not found yet. However, in recent years a hypothesis developed in collaboration with the allergens group of CBGP has gained importance: certain compounds carried by the allergen proteins, known as ligands, would act as necessary collaborator agents in the allergic sensitization phase.

Pru p 3 was the protein selected for this study. This protein is responsible for the peach allergy, being very common in Mediterranean countries. The CBGP team has recently identified in a study the natural ligand of Pru p 3 as a compound formed by an alkaloid attached to a hydrocarbon tail. In the current study, the team has found direct evidence of the participation of the Pru p 3 ligand in the processes of the immune system recognition in the…

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