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Am J Pharmacogenomics. 2004;4(6):357-69.

Sequence tag catalogs of dust mite-expressed genomes: utility in allergen and acarologic studies.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, Singapore.

Abstract

Dust mites are a major source of indoor allergens. They contain a large number of components that react with immunoglobulin (Ig) E in individuals with allergies and are capable of inducing sensitization, and allergic respiratory and cutaneous diseases. With a significant proportion of the population affected in some way by mite allergies, it is essential that we improve our understanding of these organisms so that control strategies could be defined and its allergens better understood. Thus, we have initiated a project using the expressed sequence tagging (EST) strategy to study the major species of dust mites associated with allergic diseases, in particular, the American house dust mite, Dermatophagoides farinae, as well as Blomia tropicalis, the most prevalent mite in domestic tropical dwellings. The work has recently been expanded to include 'storage' mites such as Tyrophagus putrescentiae, Acarus siro, Lepidoglyphus destructor, Glycyphagus domesticus, Suidasia medanensis, and Aleuroglyphus ovatus. More than 50% of the initial 3000 ESTs from the D. farinae and B. tropicalis dust mites showed significant matches to known genes and were categorized into eight functional groups (such as proteins involved in metabolism, gene expression, protein synthesis, cell signaling, etc.). Of specific interest, however, were the homologs to known mite allergens, in addition to a number of sequences bearing significant homology to allergens from non-mite sources previously not known to exist in mites. The availability of these allergen sequences has facilitated their expression and subsequent characterization in our laboratory in terms of their IgE-binding reactivity. The wealth of sequence information, generated via the EST project, has also facilitated the identification of polymorphic forms of allergens, the investigation of differential gene expression under various environmental conditions via DNA microarrays, as well as the analysis of protein level expression profiling via the proteomics approach. Additionally, ESTs have also ameliorated the understanding of the phylogenetic relationships between mites, and enabled the isolation of gene products crucial for life processes so that mite control strategies can be more effectively devised. Taken together, the utilization of the EST strategy has opened up numerous new avenues by which the allergist can engage more effectively in the study of dust mites with the ultimate aim of developing appropriate treatment regimens for mite-induced allergy.

PMID:
15651897
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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