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  1. Chan SL, Ong TC, Gao YF, Tiong YS, Wang de Y, Chew FT, et al.
    J. Immunol., 2008 Aug 15;181(4):2586-96.
    PMID: 18684949
    A high incidence of sensitization to Blomia tropicalis, the predominant house dust mite species in tropical regions, is strongly associated with allergic diseases in Singapore, Malaysia, and Brazil. IgE binding to the group 5 allergen, Blo t 5, is found to be the most prevalent among all B. tropicalis allergens. The NMR structure of Blo t 5 determined represents a novel helical bundle structure consisting of three antiparallel alpha-helices. Based on the structure and sequence alignment with other known group 5 dust mite allergens, surface-exposed charged residues have been identified for site-directed mutagenesis and IgE binding assays. Four charged residues, Glu76, Asp81, Glu86, and Glu91 at around the turn region connecting helices alpha2 and alpha3 have been identified to be involved in the IgE binding. Using overlapping peptides, we have confirmed that these charged residues are located on a major putative linear IgE epitope of Blo t 5 from residues 76-91 comprising the sequence ELKRTDLNILERFNYE. Triple and quadruple mutants have been generated and found to exhibit significantly lower IgE binding and reduced responses in skin prick tests. The mutants induced similar PBMC proliferation as the wild-type protein but with reduced Th2:Th1 cytokines ratio. Mass screening on a quadruple mutant showed a 40% reduction in IgE binding in 35 of 42 sera of atopic individuals. Findings in this study further stressed the importance of surface-charged residues on IgE binding and have implications in the cross-reactivity and use of Blo t 5 mutants as a hypoallergen for immunotherapy.
  2. Mac Aogáin M, Tiew PY, Lim AYH, Low TB, Tan GL, Hassan T, et al.
    Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med., 2019 04 01;199(7):842-853.
    PMID: 30265843 DOI: 10.1164/rccm.201807-1355OC
    RATIONALE: Allergic sensitization is associated with poor clinical outcomes in asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cystic fibrosis; however, its presence, frequency, and clinical significance in non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis remain unclear.

    OBJECTIVES: To determine the frequency and geographic variability that exists in a sensitization pattern to common and specific allergens, including house dust mite and fungi, and to correlate such patterns to airway immune-inflammatory status and clinical outcomes in bronchiectasis.

    METHODS: Patients with bronchiectasis were recruited in Asia (Singapore and Malaysia) and the United Kingdom (Scotland) (n = 238), forming the Cohort of Asian and Matched European Bronchiectasis, which matched recruited patients on age, sex, and bronchiectasis severity. Specific IgE response against a range of common allergens was determined, combined with airway immune-inflammatory status and correlated to clinical outcomes. Clinically relevant patient clusters, based on sensitization pattern and airway immune profiles ("immunoallertypes"), were determined.

    MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: A high frequency of sensitization to multiple allergens was detected in bronchiectasis, exceeding that in a comparator cohort with allergic rhinitis (n = 149). Sensitization was associated with poor clinical outcomes, including decreased pulmonary function and more severe disease. "Sensitized bronchiectasis" was classified into two immunoallertypes: one fungal driven and proinflammatory, the other house dust mite driven and chemokine dominant, with the former demonstrating poorer clinical outcome.

    CONCLUSIONS: Allergic sensitization occurs at high frequency in patients with bronchiectasis recruited from different global centers. Improving endophenotyping of sensitized bronchiectasis, a clinically significant state, and a "treatable trait" permits therapeutic intervention in appropriate patients, and may allow improved stratification in future bronchiectasis research and clinical trials.

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