A ω-secalin contained decamer shows a celiac disease prevention activity

Pasquale De Vita, Donatella B M Ficco, Alessandro Luciani, Olimpia Vincentini, Massimo Pettoello-Mantovani, Marco Silano, Luigi Maiuri, Luigi Cattivelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune permanent enteropathy that is triggered in susceptible individuals after the ingestion of gluten, a storage protein fraction presents in wheat, rye and barley endosperm. Specific gluten peptides can bind to HLA-DQ2/8 and induce lamina propria CD4 + T cell responses causing damage of the small intestine mucosa. Recent studies suggested that beside immunodominant and toxic epitopes, wheat gluten also contains epitopes capable of preventing the mucosal response invitro. Among them, a decapeptide (QQPQDAVQPF) from wheat was reported to have an antagonist effect on the agglutination of K562(S) cells and celiac T-cell activation, although the corresponding nucleotidic sequence remained unknown. This study was therefore designed to clone the sequence encoding the protein carrying the decapetide with CD protective properties. A ω-secalin gene encoding containing the decapeptide QQPQRPQQPF was isolated. Although the decapeptide was not identical to the one previously described, QQPQRPQQPF showed the same capability to prevent K562(S) cell agglutination and celiac mucosa immune activation induced by toxic gliadins. The ω-secalin gene was found in wheat carrying the wheat-rye chromosomal translocations 1BL.1RS. The identification of this immunomodulatory gliadin sequence, naturally occurring in cultivars of wheat toxic for celiac patients, might offer new therapeutic strategies for CD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-242
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cereal Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • ω-secalin
  • 1BL.1RS translocation
  • Celiac disease
  • Wheat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Biochemistry


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