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Epigenetic determinants of allergy and tolerance

Summary

Not only genetics and environmental factors are responsible for the development of allergies. Epigenetic mechanisms – that are master regulators of gene transcription and thus of the accessibility and use of genome information – have been identified as a third power that is key in determining many features of allergy. So far, three epigenetic mechanisms have been identified in humans: histone modification, DNA methylation, and posttranscriptional modification by microRNA (miRNA) or small interfering RNA (siRNA). In recent years, it became clear that epigenetic regulation of gene function does not only play a role in the development of allergy but may also play a key role in the induction of tolerance against allergens, holding the promise to truly heal or prevent atopic diseases in the future.

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Abbreviations

GSTM1:

Glutathione S-transferase M1

GSTT1:

Glutathione S-transferase T1

H:

Histone

LPS:

Lipopolysaccharide

MAPK:

Mitogen-activated protein kinase

miRNA:

MicroRNA

RNAi:

RNA interference

siRNA:

Small interfering RNA

SOTI:

Specific oral tolerance induction

TLR:

Toll-like receptor

Treg:

T regulatory cell

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Correspondence to Michael Kabesch M.D..

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The author declares that there are no conflicts of interest.

Annotation

This review article is based on a presentation at the German Allergy Congress 2015.

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Kabesch M. Epigenetic determinants of allergy and tolerance. Allergo J Int 2016;25:154–9 DOI: 10.1007/s40629-016-0122-4

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Kabesch, M. Epigenetic determinants of allergy and tolerance. Allergo J 25, 32–37 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s15007-016-1170-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s15007-016-1170-2

Key words

  • allergy
  • tolerance
  • epigenetics
  • methylation
  • histone