Allergic diseases are reaching epidemic proportions, now affecting 1 in 3 Canadians. Allergies are inappropriately high immune responses against innocuous allergens. Understanding why the immune system reacts in this way is crucial to identify new drug targets.
Proteases are enzymes that cut other proteins from allergenic sources, for example dust mites and mould. Proteases are potent triggers of allergic responses. However, an understanding of the proteins they cut and how they fit into the global picture of allergic responses is lacking.