Allergen-dependent solubilization of IL-13 receptor α2 reveals a novel mechanism to regulate allergy

Michael O. Daines, Weiguo Chen, Yasuhiro Tabata, Bradley A. Walker, Aaron M. Gibson, J. Alexander Masino, Manoj R. Warrier, Cori L. Daines, Sally E. Wenzel, Gurjit K.Khurana Hershey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Background: Allergic sensitization affects half of western populations and often precedes the development of allergic disorders including asthma. Despite the critical role of allergens in the pathogenesis of these disorders, little is known about how allergens modulate the immune response. IL-13 receptor α2 (IL-13Rα2) is a decoy receptor for IL-13. Objective: Although the existence of soluble IL-13Rα2 has been documented, the mechanisms underlying its generation are unknown. Many allergens possess protease activity; we investigated whether IL-13Rα2 is solubilized in response to allergen treatment. Methods: We evaluated the ability of allergens to solubilize IL-13Rα2 in vitro and in vivo and examined the effect on IL-13 signaling and responses. Results: We determined that treatment of cells with house dust mite (HDM) allergen or purified Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus or Dermatophagoides farinae, but not other allergens, resulted in release of soluble IL-13Rα2 that was biologically active and inhibited IL-13 signaling. Prolonged exposure to HDM or treatment with mold allergens resulted in IL-13Rα2 degradation. This was associated with increased IL-13 signaling. A single treatment of HDM in vivo resulted in release of IL-13Rα2 into the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid. BAL fluid from humans also contained IL-13Rα2; BAL fluid from individuals with asthma contained less IL-13Rα2 than that from controls. Conclusion: Allergen exposure can directly affect the level of soluble IL-13Rα2 in a way that affects IL-13 signaling and responses. Clinical implications: Soluble IL-13Rα2 may be an important biomarker of environmental allergen exposure and asthma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-383
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • IL-13Rα2
  • allergen
  • asthma
  • cytokine receptor
  • house dust mite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Allergen-dependent solubilization of IL-13 receptor α2 reveals a novel mechanism to regulate allergy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this