Spec. Issue 2006 - Article Summary

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Hapten-protein binding: What do we know?

Maja Divkovic
Safety & Environmental Assurance Centre, Unilever Colworth, Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire, UK
The chemical modification of self skin proteins (protein haptenation) and formation of macromolecular immunogens is one of the key molecular events in skin sensitisation. This widely accepted concept can be used to explain the sensitising capacity of many known skin sensitisers and could be used in in vitro assays to predict the sensitisation potential of a chemical. Here we review our current knowledge, highlight the gaps in our understanding of protein haptenation and discuss how we can use such knowledge in the development of novel alternative in vitro approaches for predicting skin sensitisation potential in the future.

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