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Efficient degradation of gluten by a prolyl endoprotease in a gastrointestinal model: Implications for coeliac disease

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Author: Mitea, C. · Havenaar, R. · Wouter Drijfhout, J. · Edens, L. · Dekking, L. · Koning, F. · Dekking, E.H.A.
Institution: TNO Kwaliteit van Leven
Source:Gut, 1, 57, 25-32
Identifier: 240583
doi: doi:10.1136/gut.2006.111609
Keywords: Health · Physiological Sciences · epitope · gliadin · gluten · glutenin · monoclonal antibody · proline · prolyl endopeptidase · article · Aspergillus niger · bread · celiac disease · cell proliferation · gastrointestinal tract · gluten free diet · immunogenicity · priority journal · protein degradation · quality of life · T lymphocyte · Western blotting · Aspergillus niger · Celiac Disease · Female · Gluten · Humans · Male · Models, Immunological · Serine Endopeptidases · Stomach · Food and Nutrition · Healthy Living


Background: Coeliac disease is caused by an immune response to gluten. As gluten proteins are proline rich they are resistant to enzymatic digestion in the gastrointestinal tract, a property that probably contributes to the immunogenic nature of gluten. Aims: This study determined the efficiency of gluten degradation by a post-proline cutting enzyme, Aspergillus niger prolyl endoprotease (AN-PEP), in a dynamic system that closely mimics the human gastrointestinal tract (TIM system). Methods: Two experiments were performed. In the first, a slice of bread was processed in the TIM system with and without co-administration of AN-PEP. In the second, a standard fast food menu was used. Samples of the digesting meals were taken from the stomach, duodenum, jejunum and ileum compartments at time zero until 4 hours after the start of the experiment. In these samples the levels of immunogenic peptides from gliadins and glutenins were assessed by monoclonal antibody-based competition assays, Western blot analysis and proliferation T-cell assays. Results: AN-PEP accelerated the degradation of gluten in the stomach compartment to such an extent that hardly any gluten reached the duodenum compartment. Conclusion: AN-PEP is capable of accelerating the degradation of gluten in a gastrointestinal system that closely mimics in-vivo digestion. This implies that the co-administration of AN-PEP with a gluten-containing meal might eliminate gluten toxicity, thus offering patients the possibility of abandoning (occasionally) their strict gluten-free diet.