Celiac disease is a permanent intolerance to ingested gluten that results in immunologically mediated inflammatory damage to the small-intestinal mucosa. Celiac disease is associated with both human leukocyte antigen (HLA) and non-HLA genes and with other immune disorders, notably juvenile diabetes and thyroid disease. The classic sprue syndrome of steatorrhea and malnutrition coupled with multiple deficiency states may be less common than more subtle and often monosymptomatic presentations of the disease. Diverse problems such as dental anomalies, short stature, osteopenic bone disease, lactose intolerance, infertility, and nonspecific abdominal pain among many others may be the only manifestations of celiac disease. The rate at which celiac disease is diagnosed depends on the level of suspicion for the disease. Although diagnosis relies on intestinal biopsy findings, serologic tests are useful as screening tools and as an adjunct to diagnosis. The treatment of celiac disease is lifelong avoidance of dietary gluten. Gluten-free diets are now readily achievable with appropriate professional instruction and community support. Both benign and malignant complications of celiac disease occur but these can often be avoided by early diagnosis and compliance with a gluten-free diet. (+info)
Small angle X-ray scattering of wheat seed-storage proteins: alpha-, gamma- and omega-gliadins and the high molecular weight (HMW) subunits of glutenin.
Small angle X-ray scattering in solution was performed on seed-storage proteins from wheat. Three different groups of gliadins (alpha-, gamma- and omega-) and a high molecular weight (HMW) subunit of glutenin (1Bx20) were studied to determine molecular size parameters. All the gliadins could be modelled as prolate ellipsoids with extended conformations. The HMW subunit existed as a highly extended rod-like particle in solution with a length of about 69 nm and a diameter of about 6.4 nm. Specific aggregation effects were observed which may reflect mechanisms of self-assembly that contribute to the unique viscoelastic properties of wheat dough. (+info)
Urinary outputs of oxalate, calcium, and magnesium in children with intestinal disorders. Potential cause of renal calculi.
24-hour urinary outputs of oxalate, calcium, and magnesium have been determined in a total of 62 children aged 3 months to 17 years who fell into the following groups: (i) 16 normal controls, (ii) 3 with primary hyperoxaluria, (iii) 9 with small and/or large intestinal resections, (iv) 9 with untreated coeliac disease, (v) 5 with pancreatic dysfunction, and (vi) a miscellaneous group of 20 children with a variety of intestinal disorders. Taken as a whole, 58% of patients with intestinal disorders had hyperoxaluria, and of these 7% had urinary outputs of oxalate which fell within the range seen in primary hyperoxaluria. The proportion of children with hyperoxaluria in the different diagnostic groups was as follows: intestinal resections (78%), coeliac disease (67%), pancreatic dysfunction (80%), and miscellaneous (45%). 35% of the patients with hyperoxaluria had hypercalciuria, whereas magnesium excretion was normal in all subjects studied. In 2 patients treatment of the underlying condition was accompanied by a return of oxalate excretion to normal. These results indicate that hyperoxaluria and hypercalciuria are common in children with a variety of intestinal disorders, and that such children may be at risk of developing renal calculi without early diagnosis and treatment. (+info)
Barley BLZ2, a seed-specific bZIP protein that interacts with BLZ1 in vivo and activates transcription from the GCN4-like motif of B-hordein promoters in barley endosperm.
A barley endosperm cDNA, encoding a DNA-binding protein of the bZIP class of transcription factors, BLZ2, has been characterized. The Blz2 mRNA expression is restricted to the endosperm, where it precedes that of the hordein genes. BLZ2, expressed in bacteria, binds specifically to the GCN4-like motif (GLM; 5'-GTGAGTCAT-3') in a 43-base pair oligonucleotide derived from the promoter region of a Hor-2 gene (B1-hordein). This oligonucleotide also includes the prolamin box (PB; 5'-TGTAAAG-3'). Binding by BLZ2 is prevented when the GLM is mutated to 5'-GTGctTCtc-3' but not when mutations affect the PB. The BLZ2 protein is a potent transcriptional activator in a yeast two-hybrid system where it dimerizes with BLZ1, a barley bZIP protein encoded by the ubiquitously expressed Blz1 gene. Transient expression experiments in co-bombarded developing barley endosperms demonstrate that BLZ2 transactivates transcription from the GLM of the Hor-2 gene promoter and that this activation is also partially dependent on the presence of an intact PB. A drastic decrease in GUS activity is observed in co-bombarded barley endosperms when using as effectors equimolar mixtures of Blz2 and Blz1 in antisense constructs. These results strongly implicate the endosperm-specific BLZ2 protein from barley, either as a homodimer or as a heterodimer with BLZ1, as an important transcriptional activator of seed storage protein genes containing the GLM in their promoters. (+info)
Measurement of gluten using a monoclonal antibody to a coeliac toxic peptide of A-gliadin.
BACKGROUND: Future European Community regulations will require a sensitive and specific assay for measurement of coeliac toxic gluten proteins in foods marketed as gluten-free. To avoid spurious cross reactions with non-toxic proteins, specific antibodies and target antigens are required. A synthetic 19 amino acid peptide of A gliadin has been shown to cause deterioration in the morphology of small intestinal biopsy specimens of coeliac patients in remission. AIMS: To develop an assay for detection of gluten in foods, based on measurement of a known toxic peptide. METHODS: A monoclonal antibody raised against the toxic A gliadin peptide, with a polyclonal anti-unfractionated gliadin capture antibody, was used to develop a double sandwich enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the measurement of gluten in foods. RESULTS: Standard curves for gliadin and for rye, barley, and oat prolamins were produced. The sensitivity of the assay was 4 ng/ml of gliadin, 500 ng/ml for rye prolamins, and 1000 ng/ml for oat and barley prolamins. The assay could detect gluten in cooked foods, although at reduced sensitivity. Prolamins from coeliac non-toxic rice, maize, millet, and sorghum did not cross react in the assay. A variety of commercially available gluten-free foods were analysed; small quantities of gluten were detected in some products. CONCLUSION: The assay may form the basis of a sensitive method for measurement of gluten in foods for consumption by patients with coeliac disease. (+info)
Changing jejunal gamma delta T cell receptor (TCR)-bearing intraepithelial lymphocyte density in coeliac disease.
The function of jejunal intraepithelial gamma delta+ T cells is obscure, but they are commonly implicated as playing a role in inflammatory and autoimmune conditions. In coeliac disease (CoD), there are controversial reports as to gluten dependency of these cells. We have now studied the small bowel mucosal intraepithelial T cell densities, and the ratios of gamma delta+ to CD3+ T cells and gamma delta+ to alpha beta+ T cells during early disease development and on a gluten-free diet. Nine children initially excluded for CoD were followed up and rebiopsy after 0.8-4.5 years showed mucosal deterioration. Further, 21 biopsy specimens from newly diagnosed CoD patients were studied, together with 20 specimens taken from children on a gluten-free diet. During CoD development the density of gamma delta+ and alpha beta+ T cells as well as the ratios of gamma delta+ to CD3+ T cells and gamma delta+ to alpha beta+ T cells increased. In the latent stage of CoD when the small bowel mucosal architecture was still normal, two children had clearly normal densities of gamma delta+ (< 2.5 cells/100 epithelial cells) and alpha beta+ (< 25.0 cells/100 epithelial cells) T cells, and low ratios as well. In patients with newly diagnosed CoD the densities decreased significantly on a long-term gluten-free diet. We conclude that the density of intraepithelial gamma delta+ T cells as well as alphabeta+ T cells in CoD is gluten-dependent. CoD can develop in a child ingesting normal amounts of gluten and having normal jejunal mucosal morphology on biopsy and a normal density of gamma delta+ T cells. (+info)
Absence of epithelial immunoglobulin A transport, with increased mucosal leakiness, in polymeric immunoglobulin receptor/secretory component-deficient mice.
Mucosal surfaces are protected specifically by secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA) and SIgM generated through external translocation of locally produced dimeric IgA and pentameric IgM. Their active transport is mediated by the epithelial polymeric Ig receptor (pIgR), also called the transmembrane secretory component. Paracellular passive external transfer of systemic and locally produced antibodies also provides mucosal protection, making the biological importance of secretory immunity difficult to assess. Here we report complete lack of active external IgA and IgM translocation in pIgR knockout mice, indicating no redundancy in epithelial transport mechanisms. The knockout mice were of normal size and fertility but had increased serum IgG levels, including antibodies to Escherichia coli, suggesting undue triggering of systemic immunity. Deterioration of their epithelial barrier function in the absence of SIgA (and SIgM) was further attested to by elevated levels of albumin in their saliva and feces, reflecting leakage of serum proteins. Thus, SIgA did not appear to be essential for health under the antigen exposure conditions of these experimental animals. Nevertheless, our results showed that SIgA contributes to maintenance of mucosal homeostasis. Production of SIgA might therefore be a variable in the initiation of human immunopathology such as inflammatory bowel disease or gluten-sensitive enteropathy. (+info)
Prediction of protein cleavage sites by the barley cysteine endoproteases EP-A and EP-B based on the kinetics of synthetic peptide hydrolysis.
Hordeins, the natural substrates of barley (Hordeum vulgare) cysteine endoproteases (EPs), were isolated as protein bodies and degraded by purified EP-B from green barley malt. Cleavage specificity was determined by synthesizing internally quenched, fluorogenic tetrapeptide substrates of the general formula 2-aminobenzoyl-P(2)-P(1)-P(1)'-P(2)' 1-tyrosine(NO(2))-aspartate. The barley EPs preferred neutral amino acids with large aliphatic and nonpolar (leucine, valine, isoleucine, and methionine) or aromatic (phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan) side chains at P(2), and showed less specificity at P(1), although asparagine, aspartate, valine, and isoleucine were particularly unfavorable. Peptides with proline at P(1) or P(1)' were extremely poor substrates. Cleavage sites with EP-A and EP-B preferred substrate sequences are found in hordeins, their natural substrates. The substrate specificity of EP-B with synthetic peptides was used successfully to predict the cleavage sites in the C-terminal extension of barley beta-amylase. When all of the primary cleavage sites in C hordein, which occur mainly in the N- and C-terminal domains, were removed by site-directed mutagenesis, the resulting protein was degraded 112 times more slowly than wild-type C hordein. We suggest that removal of the C hordein terminal domains is necessary for unfolding of the beta-reverse turn helix of the central repeat domain, which then becomes more susceptible to proteolytic attack by EP-B. (+info)