Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Faulty gene linked to allergies

29 July 2013, 10:30

A genetic link to allergies has been found, which also exists in people with connective tissue disorders, US scientists report. 

US scientists said on Wednesday they have found a genetic link to allergies, which also exists in people with connective tissue disorders.

The findings in the journal Science Translational Medicine show that a single genetic pathway may open the door to conditions such as asthma, food allergies and eczema.

The culprit appears to be mutations that lead to abnormal signals from a protein called transforming growth factor-beta, or TGF-beta.

When its signalling goes awry, it unleashes a "cascade of events that culminates in the development" of allergies, said lead author Pamela Frischmeyer-Guerrerio, an immunologist at Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

Researchers examined a group of 58 children with Loeys-Dietz syndrome (LDS), a connective tissue disorder that can cause an enlarged aorta and lead to aneurysm and is similar to Marfan syndrome.

TGF-beta signalling

Researchers noticed years ago that patients with LDS were predisposed to higher allergy rates than the general population.

LDS patients also have unusually high levels of the antibody IgE, which is a driver of allergic responses, and high counts of white blood cells known as eosinophils that are involved in allergic reactions.

Researchers found that the children's immune cells also had "abnormally high levels of a protein called SMAD, a known transmitter of TGF-beta signalling", said the study.

Among patients treated with a blood pressure drug known as losartan, this protein was reduced, suggesting the drug may offer a pathway to treating allergies.

It also signaled that heightened TGF-beta signalling was the root of the allergic response.

"Disruption in TGF-beta signalling does not simply nudge immune cells to misbehave but appears to singlehandedly unlock the very chain reaction that eventually leads to allergic disease," said senior investigator Harry Dietz, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

The researchers are currently investigating losartan's effects on allergic symptoms in animals.

- Health24


What causes cellulite?

21 October 2016, 13:23

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Mudavadi given permission to join...

Musalia Mudavadi has been ghranted permission by his party to join the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...