PerspectiveCell Biology

Signaling Shifts in Allergy Responses

Science  28 Feb 2014:
Vol. 343, Issue 6174, pp. 982-983
DOI: 10.1126/science.1251425

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Via your Institution

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Summary

Mast cells initiate allergic reactions. These cells express a receptor (FcɛRI) that binds to immunoglobulin E (IgE). When antigen binds to receptor-bound IgE, a wide range of responses is triggered that together cause the symptoms of allergy. These include the release of enzymes and a variety of bioactive chemicals from granules, the generation of lipid-derived inflammatory molecules, and the secretion of multiple cytokines and chemokines. However, not all responses are equally induced. On page 1021 of this issue, Suzuki et al. (1) unravel how a difference in the affinity of antigen favors one response or another by switching between intracellular signaling pathways. Quantitative differences in antigen affinity thus determine the quality of mast cell responses.