(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists have found a way to remove a protein from the feline genome that causes most cat allergies. Using gene-editing technology, the researchers were able to stop the cat’s cells from producing the culprit molecule in the lab.
The researchers found the protein responsible for the allergy and were able to block it without harming the animal. But so far only in vitro…
Allergies to cats are usually associated with hair and dander, which pets release into the environment. However, they are not the main culprit. Allergies to cats are mainly caused by a protein called Fel d 1, which is secreted in the saliva of animals and gets into their fur when they groom themselves.
One step closer to hypoallergenic cats!
In a new study published in the journal CRISPR , scientists analyzed the DNA of 50 domestic cats and identified region regions of two genes, known as CH1 and CH2, that code for the Fel d 1 protein.
The researchers also found that Fel 1 d genes can be removed without harm to animals. To do this, they implanted it in laboratory mice and removed it without any consequences.
Later, scientists used CRISPR gene-editing technology to remove Fel 1 d-coding regions in cat cells. This did not cause unwanted genetic changes in any of the areas where they predicted off-target changes might occur.
The researchers note that in the near future, additional work will be needed to improve the technology. However, they are optimistic about their research and believe that the new approach will eventually lead to hypoallergenic cats.
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