Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Munich researchers discover key allergy gene

22.08.2008
Together with colleagues from the Department of Dermatology and Allergy and the Center for Allergy and Environment (ZAUM) of the Technische Universität München, scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München have pinpointed a major gene for allergic diseases.

The gene was localized using cutting edge technologies for examining the whole human genome at the Helmholtz Zentrum München.

The newly discovered FCER1A gene encodes the alpha chain of high affinity IgE receptor, which plays a major role in controlling allergic responses. The team of scientists led by Dr. Stephan Weidinger from the Technische Universität München and Dr. Thomas Illig from the Helmholtz Zentrum München found that certain variations of the FCER1A gene decisively influence the production of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies.

IgE antibodies are a particular type of antibody that is normally used to protect against parasites. In Western lifestyle countries with less contact, however, elevated IgE levels are associated with allergic disorders.

In genetically susceptible individuals the immune system becomes biased and produces IgE antibodies against harmless agents such as pollen, dust mites or animal hair. These IgE antibodies then work in conjunction with certain cells to get rid of the allergens, a process that gives rise to the symptoms of allergy such as allergic rhinitis (hay fever), atopic dermatitis or asthma.

“Most people with allergies are atopic - meaning they have a genetic tendency to develop allergies. To detect the genetic factors we examined the genomes of more than 10,000 adults and children from the whole of Germany" explained Stephan Weidinger.

Most of the persons examined for the study come from the population studies of the KORA (co-operative health research in the Augsburg region) research platform, which is led by Prof. Dr. H.-Erich Wichmann, the Director of the Institute of Epidemiology at the Helmholtz Zentrum München. The allergological examinations were carried by the Department for Dermatology and Allergy of the Technische Universität München headed by Prof. Dr. Dr. Johannes Ring.

Although in its early stages, the new knowledge on the regulation of IgE production does have the potential to guide the development of new drugs.

Michael van den Heuvel | alfa
Further information:
http://www.helmholtz-muenchen.de
http://www.helmholtz-muenchen.de/en/press/press/press-releases-2008/press-releases-2008-detail/article/10903/9/index.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How gut bacteria can make us ill

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

On track to heal leukaemia

18.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>