Immunological effects of transglutaminase-treated gluten in coeliac disease

Luca Elli, Leda Roncoroni, Martin Hils, Ralf Pasternack, Donatella Barisani, Claudia Terrani, Valentina Vaira, Stefano Ferrero, Maria Teresa Bardella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Coeliac disease pathogenesis is characterized by an immune response triggered, in genetically predisposed subjects, by ingested gluten and its withdrawal from the diet is the only available therapy. However, enzymatic modification of gluten through the insertion of lysine to avoid antigen presentation could represent a new therapeutical approach for patients. Sixty-six duodenal biopsies from 17 coeliac patients were cultured for 48. h with gluten or enzymatically-modified gluten (treated with human recombinant transglutaminase type 2 or bacterial transglutaminase, with or without lysine). Interferonγ, anti endomisium and anti transglutaminase IgA antibodies, lactate dehydrogenase and transglutaminase activity were measured in the culture medium. Transglutaminase type 2 expression was evaluated on biopsies by immunohistochemistry. Gluten and transglutaminase-treated gluten increased by 13-15 fold interferon γ release, as well as antibodies, transglutaminase activity, and the immunohistochemical expression of transglutaminase type 2. Addition of lysine to the enzymatic modification of gluten normalized interferon γ, antibodies, transglutaminase activity and immunohistochemical expression of transglutaminase type 2. Lactate dehydrogenase did not differ among the studied groups. Enzymatic modification of gluten by transglutaminase plus lysine prevents the immunologic effects on cultured duodenal biopsies from coeliac patients and could be tested as an alternative therapy in coeliac disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)992-997
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Immunology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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