Mast Cells

DNA methylation curbs mast cell response

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Science  24 Feb 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6327, pp. 809
DOI: 10.1126/science.355.6327.809-a

DNMT3A is important for preventing mast cell overactivity.

PHOTO: STEM JEMS/SCIENCE SOURCE

Mast cells are white blood cells that are perhaps best known for their role in allergic responses and asthma. Leoni et al. now show that the enzyme DNMT3A limits mast cell activity following acute and chronic inflammation. Using mice deficient in DNMT3A, the authors found exaggerated mast cell responses to skin allergy. Inactivation of DNMT3A was associated with increased cytokine production, enhanced mast cell degranulation, and aberrant expression of the IQGAP2 scaffold protein. A number of hematological disorders have been associated with mutations in DNA methylation enzymes, and the current studies highlight a broader role for containing immune responses.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 10.1073/pnas.1616420114 (2017).

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