Current insights into the genetics of food allergy

Kanika Kanchan, Selene Clay, Haritz Irizar, Supinda Bunyavanich, Rasika A. Mathias

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Food allergy (FA), a growing public health burden in the United States, and familial aggregation studies support strong roles for both genes and environment in FA risk. Deepening our understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms driving FAs is paramount to improving its prevention, diagnosis, and clinical management. In this review, we document lessons learned from the genetics of FA that have aided our understanding of these mechanisms. Although current genetic association studies suffer from low power, heterogeneity in definition of FA, and difficulty in our ability to truly disentangle FA from food sensitization (FS) and general atopy genetics, they reveal a set of genetic loci, genes, and variants that continue to implicate the importance of barrier and immune function genes across the atopic march, and FA in particular. The largest reported effects on FA are from MALT1 (odds ratio, 10.99), FLG (average odds ratio, ∼2.9), and HLA (average odds ratio, ∼2.03). The biggest challenge in the field of FA genetics is to elucidate the specific mechanism of action on FA risk and pathogenesis for these loci, and integrative approaches including genetics/genomics with transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics will be critical next steps to translating these genetic insights into practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-28
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Volume147
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Dual Allergen hypothesis
  • FLG
  • Food allergy
  • HLA
  • atopic march
  • barrier genes
  • genetics
  • genomics
  • immune genes
  • peanut allergy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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