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The enzymatic activity of a mite allergen (Der p1)

This article is by Dr Matthew J Colloff author of the recently published, Dust Mites'. In the paragraph below Dr Colloff describes how the enzymatic activity of major mite allergens can impact on an atopic (prone to an IgE response) immune system.
'The atopic immune system recognises the allergens as foreign proteins and, because it is predisposed to make antibodies of the IgE isotype, does so rapidly and efficiently as part of the heightened atopic immune surveillance response to common inhalant allergens. But because many of these proteins are also enzymes that digest proteins and peptides, and because the immune system is effectively run by proteins and peptides, mite allergens can directly disrupt the immune system through digesting key inhibitors, structural proteins or immune modulators. All of this adds up to the peptidase enzyme-allergens tending to be more clinically important, possibly due to synergistic interactions between their effect on the immune system as allergens and their effect as enzymes.

To hear or read an interview with Dr Colloff please click on The Vodcast is below the text.


Dr Matthew J. Colloff, 'Dust Mites', Illustrations, 600 pages, 275x195mm. Publisher CSIRO PUBLISHING, June 2009, Australia ISBN 978-0-6430-6589-5, or Springer Science ISBN 978-90-481-2223-3