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Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2005 Sep;5(5):388-93.

Structural biology of allergens.

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  • 1Centre for Child Health Research, Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, The University of Western Australia, PO Box 855, West Perth, WA 6872, Australia.


Major allergens may have special aerobiological properties and allergenic structures. It would also be instructive to consider the properties of nonallergens and nonallergenic responses. In some cases, nonallergenic responses appear to result from a lack of antigenicity and in others from regulation. Proteolytic activity has been proposed as an adjuvant for allergenicity, but lipid binding is far more common and is found for more than 50% of the major allergens. Such structures can enhance allergenicity via Toll-like receptor (TLR) or CD1 pathways. TLR signaling can enhance both Th1 and Th2 responses and be induced by peptides as well as nonproteinaceous ligands.

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