Genetics of allergy and allergic sensitization: common variants, rare mutations

Curr Opin Immunol. 2015 Oct;36:115-26. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2015.08.002. Epub 2015 Sep 18.


Our understanding of the specific genetic lesions in allergy has improved in recent years due to identification of common risk variants from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and studies of rare, monogenic diseases. Large-scale GWAS have identified novel susceptibility loci and provided information about shared genetics between allergy, related phenotypes and autoimmunity. Studies of monogenic diseases have elucidated critical cellular pathways and protein functions responsible for allergy. These complementary approaches imply genetic mechanisms involved in Th2 immunity, T-cell differentiation, TGFβ signaling, regulatory T-cell function and skin/mucosal function as well as yet unknown mechanisms associated with newly identified genes. Future studies, in combination with data on gene expression and epigenetics, are expected to increase our understanding of the pathogenesis of allergy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmunity / genetics
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / genetics*
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Immunization
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Quantitative Trait Loci
  • Quantitative Trait, Heritable