Origins of peanut allergy-causing antibodies

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Science  06 Mar 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6482, pp. 1072-1073
DOI: 10.1126/science.aba8974

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Some people produce immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to proteins in common foods. As a result, these foods can trigger severe allergic inflammation (anaphylaxis). There are several structurally and functionally distinct antibody isotypes (IgM, IgD, IgG, IgA, and IgE), and which isotype binds to a target molecule (antigen) influences what happens next. For example, IgG that binds peanut proteins is harmless, but IgE bound to the same proteins can induce anaphylaxis and death. Therefore, how, where, and why allergen-reactive IgE is made are decades-old questions. Hoh et al. (1) found that gut tissue is a likely place for IgE development in peanut-allergic individuals. In addition, despite vast sequence possibilities, they found that many individuals share similar peanut-reactive IgE DNA sequences. This suggests that IgE antibodies in different individuals recognize peanut proteins in a similar manner, which could inform strategies for pharmacological interventions.

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