Usefulness of recombinant γ-gliadin 1 for identifying patients with celiac disease and monitoring adherence to a gluten-free diet

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Celiac disease (CD) is an inflammatory disease of the small intestine caused by an immunologic hypersensitivity reaction to dietary wheat gluten.


We sought to clone, express, and perform IgA epitope mapping of a CD-specific wheat antigen and to study its usefulness for identifying patients with CD and monitoring adherence to a gluten-free diet.


A synthetic gene coding for γ-gliadin 1 (GG1) was expressed inEscherichia coli. Recombinant γ-gliadin 1 (rGG1) was purified and characterized biochemically, structurally, and immunologically by using sera from patients with CD and control subjects. Overlapping GG1 peptides were synthesized for IgA and IgG epitope mapping. GG1 and peptide-specific antibodies were raised for tracing GG1 in cereals and dietary wheat products and to study its resistance to digestion.


rGG1 was expressed and purified. rGG1-based IgA ELISAs performed in populations of patients with CD and control subjects showed a specificity of 92.9%, which was higher than that of gliadin extract (e). Furthermore, it allowed monitoring of adherence to a gluten-free diet in patients. A 26-amino-acid peptide from the proline-glutamine–rich repetitive N-terminal region was identified as the immunodominant IgA epitope. GG1-related antigens were found in rye, barley, and spelt but not in oat, rice, or maize. GG1 was detected in dietary wheat products after baking, and in particular, the major IgA epitope–containing region was resistant against digestion.


rGG1 and its epitope might be useful for identifying patients with CD, monitoring treatment, and studying the pathomechanisms of CD and development of preventive and therapeutic strategies.

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