Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences

Just in time for Allergy Season, Xiaona Ge and Rao Lab Group discusses Allergic Airway Inflammation

May 2, 2018
Female child blows nose

The manuscript, Regulation of eosonophil recruitment and allergic airway inflammation by heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) modifying enzymes discusses why some people with allergic asthma, allergens can trigger inflammation in the respiratory system, which leads to airway narrowing and breathing problems.

Allergens do this by activating white blood cells, which then migrate to the lungs and secrete a cocktail of chemicals that create inflammation. This study found two related enzymes in the airways can help sulfur molecules bind selectively to either oxygen or nitrogen atoms in sugar chains attached to key lung proteins. Sulfur binding to sugar oxygen or nitrogen atoms can respectively increase or decrease the numbers of a pro-inflammatory type of white blood cell entering the airways. The investigators suggest that these enzymes could be targets for drugs that reduce the severity of lung inflammation and shorten the course of an allergic asthma attack.