New insights into innate immune mechanisms underlying allergenicity

M. Wills-Karp, A. Nathan, K. Page, C. L. Karp

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Allergic diseases, which have reached epidemic proportions, are caused by inappropriate immune responses to a relatively small number of environmental proteins. The molecular basis for the propensity of specific proteins to promote maladaptive, allergic responses has been difficult to define. Recent data suggest that the ability of such proteins to promote allergic responses in susceptible hosts is a function of their ability to interact with diverse pathways of innate immune recognition and activation at mucosal surfaces. This review highlights recent insights into innate immune activation by allergensthrough proteolytic activity, engagement of pattern recognition receptors, molecular mimicry of TLR signaling complex molecules, lipid-binding activity, and oxidant potentialand the role of such activation in inducing allergic disease. A greater understanding of the fundamental origins of allergenicity should help define new preventive and therapeutic targets in allergic disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-110
Number of pages7
JournalMucosal Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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