Mount Sinai researchers detect 6 genes at the root of peanut allergies

A team of researchers from the New York City-based Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found six genes drive peanut allergy reactions, according to a study published in Nature Communications Dec. 5.

For the study, the team collected blood samples from 40 children with peanut allergies before, during and after ingesting incremental amounts of peanuts at 20-minute intervals. The participants did the same with a placebo — oat powder — on a separate day.

The team's goal for the study was to compare the children's gene expression over the course of their allergic reaction. To do so, the researchers analyzed RNA sequencing data from their blood samples, identifying six genes that activated hundreds of other genes in children experiencing a severe reaction.

"This study highlights genes and molecular processes that could be targets for new therapies to treat peanut-allergy reactions and could be important to understanding how peanut allergy works overall," said senior author, Supinda Bunyavanich, MD, an associate professor of pediatrics and genetics and genomic sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

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