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Analytical Biochemistry
Volume 592, 2020, 113584

Microbial transglutaminase: A biotechnological tool to manage gluten intolerance

Diomira Luongo, Francesco Maurano, Paolo Bergamo, Mauro Rossi

Institute of Food Sciences, National Research Council, Avellino, Italy.


Celiac disease (CD) is a chronic immune-mediated disease in which gluten ingestion leads to damage of the small intestinal mucosa in genetically susceptible individuals. The enteropathy is mainly induced by the production of IFN-γ from intestinal CD4+T cells that recognise gliadin peptides following deamidation by tissue transglutaminase. The only available therapy is a strict, lifelong gluten-free diet (GFD). This diet is strongly demanding for patients, which justifies the search for alternative strategies. The enzyme approach is one promising strategy to address this issue. In particular, transamidation of wheat gliadin by microbial transglutaminase (mTG) was fully effective at inhibiting gliadin-specific IFN-γ secretion in intestinal T cells from CD patients. Furthermore, transamidated gliadin induced higher levels of the anti-inflammatory IL-10 than native gliadin in different in vitro models. These data suggest that a more balanced immune response could be induced by mTG-treated gliadin in the small intestine of celiac patients. Furthermore, the highlighted biological property of mTG-treated gliadin could be exploited to induce tolerance to native gliadin in at-risk individuals.

Keywords: Microbial transglutaminase (mTG), Celiac disease, Transamidation, Gliadin, Adaptive immunity.

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