Mite allergens: significance of enzymatic activity

Allergy. 1998;53(48 Suppl):60-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.1998.tb05000.x.


Ten years ago, the cloning and sequencing of a cDNA encoding the group I allergen of house-dust mites unequivocally determined that protein allergens may have biochemical functions in addition to their ability to bind IgE. Since this discovery, several groups have speculated that the biochemical activities of allergens, or substances associated with allergens, may be involved in their immunogenicity or allergenicity. This paper will focus on just one biochemical function, proteolytic activity, and will be illustrated by examples of our own work that we believe support the hypothesis that this category of molecules are endowed with the properties of proallergic adjuvants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / immunology
  • Allergens / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Dermatophagoides
  • Endopeptidases / immunology*
  • Endopeptidases / metabolism*
  • Glycoproteins / immunology
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / immunology
  • Mites / enzymology*
  • Mites / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / immunology


  • Allergens
  • Antigens, Dermatophagoides
  • Glycoproteins
  • Endopeptidases