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Front Immunol. 2019 Feb 14;10:122. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.00122. eCollection 2019.

Lipophilic Allergens, Different Modes of Allergen-Lipid Interaction and Their Impact on Asthma and Allergy.

Author information

1
Division of Clinical and Molecular Allergology, Research Center Borstel, Leibniz Lung Center, Airway Research Center North, German Center for Lung Research, Borstel, Germany.
2
Interdisciplinary Allergy Outpatient Clinic, Department of Pneumology, University of Luebeck, Borstel, Germany.
3
Division of Immunobiophysics, Research Center Borstel, Leibniz Lung Center, Borstel, Germany.
4
Junior Research Group of Allergobiochemistry, Research Center Borstel, Leibniz Lung Center, Airway Research Center North, German Center for Lung Research, Borstel, Germany.
5
Division of Innate Immunity, Research Center Borstel, Leibniz Lung Center, Airway Research Center North, German Center for Lung Research, Borstel, Germany.

Abstract

Molecular allergology research has provided valuable information on the structure and function of single allergenic molecules. There are several allergens in food and inhalant allergen sources that are able to interact with lipid ligands via different structural features: hydrophobic pockets, hydrophobic cavities, or specialized domains. For only a few of these allergens information on their associated ligands is already available. Several of the allergens are clinically relevant, so that it is highly probable that the individual structural features with which they interact with lipids have a direct effect on their allergenic potential, and thus on allergy development. There is some evidence for a protective effect of lipids delaying the enzymatic digestion of the peanut (Arachis hypogaea) allergen Ara h 8 (hydrophobic pocket), probably allowing this molecule to get to the intestinal immune system intact (sensitization). Oleosins from different food allergen sources are part of lipid storage organelles and potential marker allergens for the severity of the allergic reaction. House dust mite (HDM), is more often associated with allergic asthma than other sources of inhalant allergens. In particular, lipid-associated allergens from Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus which are Der p 2, Der p 5, Der p 7, Der p 13, Der p 14, and Der p 21 have been reported to be associated with severe allergic reactions and respiratory symptoms such as asthma. The exact mechanism of interaction of these allergens with lipids still has to be elucidated. Apart from single allergens glycolipids have been shown to directly induce allergic inflammation. Several-in parts conflicting-data exist on the lipid (and allergen) and toll-like receptor interactions. For only few single allergens mechanistic studies were performed on their interaction with the air-liquid interface of the lungs, in particular with the surfactant components SP-A and SP-D. The increasing knowledge on protein-lipid-interaction for lipophilic and hydrophobic food and inhalant allergens on the basis of their particular structure, of their capacity to be integral part of membranes (like the oleosins), and their ability to interact with membranes, surfactant components, and transport lipids (like the lipid transfer proteins) are essential to eventually clarify allergy and asthma development.

KEYWORDS:

asthma; food allergy; house dust mite; innate immunity; lipids; lipophilic allergens; peanut; pulmonary surfactants

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