Sunday, January 17, 2016

Allergens + proteomics = allergenomics!

Okay, so I was reading this very cool paper from Choopong et al., and was thinking they came up with this awesome new technique. And then I looked up the term "allergenomics" and I found this page describing that very same technique from 2003 (where I stole the above picture)

 Reinforcement of how little I still know about this field and how much more I have to read!

Here is the idea: Choopong and this team took some dust mites (eww...) and diced 'em up and ran a 2D-gel with their proteins. Then they basically western-blot for allergens by not using regular IGg, but by using the IGe antigens from a patient (with allergies!) blood. When stuff matches to some irregular formation of the IGe from the allergic person, then you've maybe found one of the proteins responsible for the allergy!  You identify it by cutting the 2D spot out, digesting it and doing our normal MS/MS technique.

Voila! You found the reasons you're allergic to dust mites!  Maybe then you have a new target for allergen therapy. What a cool and powerful upstream technique put to great use in this study!

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