For proteins to become allergenic, they need to acquire features enabling them to induce B cell activation and isotype switch to IgE production. Crosslinking of the B-cell receptor (BCR) is the most efficient way to productively activate B-cells. The IgE-crosslinking capability of allergens is equally crucial in the effector phase of immediate type allergy. Antigens, which acquire enhanced crosslinking capacity by oligomerization, aggregation, or the expression of repetitive epitopes may therefore gain allergenic potency. The accumulated evidence for repetitive epitope display by allergens suggests the existence of allergen-associated molecular patterns.
Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.