Probiotic preparation has the capacity to hydrolyze proteins responsible for wheat allergy

Maria De Angelis, Carlo G. Rizzello, Enrico Scala, Claudio De Simone, Giovanni A. Farris, Francesco Turrini, Marco Gobbetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study was aimed at showing the capacity of probiotic VSL#3 to hydrolyze wheat flour allergens. Hydrolysis was investigated either by the use of baker's yeast bread treated with digestive enzymes and VSL#3, an experimental design that mimicked the activity of probiotics during gut colonization, or by the use of VSL#3 as a starter for dough fermentation, an experimental design that mimicked the predigestion of wheat flour proteins during food processing. Albumins, globulins, and gliadins extracted from wheat flour and chemically acidified and started dough and total proteins extracted from breads were analyzed by immunoblotting with pooled sera from patients with an allergy to wheat. Hydrolysis of wheat flour proteins was determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and two-dimensional electrophoresis (2DE). Mass spectrometry matrix-assisted laser desorption and ionization-time of flight was used to identify some immunoglobulin E (IgE)-binding proteins. As shown by immunoblotting with sera from allergic patients, several IgE-binding proteins persisted after treatment of baker's yeast bread by pepsin and pancreatin. The signal of all these IgE-binding proteins disappeared after further treatment by VSL#3. As shown by SDS-PAGE and related immunoblotting and 2DE analyses, when VSL#3 was used as a starter for bread making, it caused a marked degradation of wheat proteins, including some IgE-binding proteins such as the putative transcription factor APFI and wheat α-amylase inhibitors. Indeed, the IgE-binding profile of the bread manufactured by VSL#3 was largely different from that of baker's yeast bread. The IgE-binding proteins that persisted in the bread made with VSL#3 were completely degraded by pepsin and pancreatin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-144
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Food Protection
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Biotechnology


Dive into the research topics of 'Probiotic preparation has the capacity to hydrolyze proteins responsible for wheat allergy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this