Research Article

Protein crystallization promotes type 2 immunity and is reversible by antibody treatment

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Science  24 May 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6442, eaaw4295
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw4295

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A crystal-clear ingredient for allergy?

Charcot-Leyden crystals (CLCs) are formed from the eosinophil granule protein galectin-10 (Gal10) and found in severe eosinophil-associated diseases like asthma and chronic rhinosinusitis. Whether CLCs actively contribute to disease pathogenesis is unknown. Persson et al. found that lab-grown Gal10 crystals are biosimilar to CLCs (see the Perspective by Allen and Sutherland). When given to mice, the crystals acted as a type 2 adjuvant, mimicking many of the features of human asthma. In contrast, a Gal10 mutein unable to crystallize had no effect. Antibodies against epitopes crucial for Gal10 autocrystallization could dissolve both in vitro–generated Gal10 crystals and patient-derived CLCs. Furthermore, these anti-Gal10 antibodies reversed the effects of Gal10 crystals in a humanized mouse model of asthma, suggesting a potential therapeutic approach for crystallopathies more broadly.

Science, this issue p. eaaw4295; see also p. 738