Evolutionary Biology and Gene Editing of Cat Allergen, Fel d 1. Academic Article uri icon


  • Allergy to domestic cat affects up to 15% of the population, and sensitization to cat allergen is associated with asthma. Despite the pervasiveness of cat allergic disease, current treatments have limited impact. Here, we present a bioinformatics analysis of the major cat allergen, Fel d 1, and demonstrate proof of principle for CRISPR gene editing of the allergen. Sequence and structural analyses of Fel d 1 from 50 domestic cats identified conserved coding regions in genes CH1 and CH2 suitable for CRISPR editing. Comparative analyses of Fel d 1 and orthologous sequences from eight exotic felid species determined relatively low-sequence identities for CH1 and CH2, and implied that the allergen may be nonessential for cats, given the apparent lack of evolutionary conservation. In vitro knockouts of domestic cat Fel d 1 using CRISPR-Cas9 yielded editing efficiencies of up to 55% and found no evidence of editing at predicted potential off-target sites. Taken together, our data indicate that Fel d 1 is both a rational and viable candidate for gene deletion, which may profoundly benefit cat allergy sufferers by removing the major allergen at the source.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Brackett, N. F., Davis, B. W., Adli, M., Poms, A., & Chapman, M. D.

complete list of authors

  • Brackett, Nicole F||Davis, Brian W||Adli, Mazhar||Pom├ęs, Anna||Chapman, Martin D

publication date

  • April 2022