Genomics and proteomics of allergic disease


Dr Santa Jeremy Ono, GlaxoSmithKline Professor of the Biomedical Sciences, University College London, Institute of Ophthalmology, 11–43 Bath Street, London, EC1V 9EL, UK. E-mail:;


The world-wide effort to identify susceptibility genes for allergic diseases is motivated by the conviction that the identification of disease genes may permit the design of new classes of anti-inflammatory compounds. Molecules concerned with the allergic reaction, such as cytokines, chemokines, their receptors, major histocompatibility complex molecules, and transcription factors, could provide the candidate genes of the allergic diseases. On the basis of genetic studies, multiple research groups have attempted to identify a susceptibility gene for allergy using the candidate gene approach and/or genome-wide screening. Both of these approaches suggest genetic heterogeneity of allergic diseases. Many variants of candidate genes are or are not associated with particular diseases in different ethnic groups and the function of variants is now being investigated. Based on the information accumulated thus far and the information on the human genome sequence, future advances in research on genetic factors for allergic diseases will be likely lead to the establishment of more effective prophylaxis and therapy for these diseases.