Non-gluten Proteins and their Role in Celiac Disease

It is known that people with Celiac Disease (CD) react to major storage proteins (gliadins & glutenin) in wheat (& proteins in barley & rye). These ‘gluten’ proteins make up about 75 percent of all the proteins in wheat. Scientists have now discovered there may be other ‘non-gluten’ proteins in wheat that people with CD may react to.

The scientists’ findings were recently published in the American Chemical Societies’ Journal of Proteome Research in an article titled Specific Non-Gluten Proteins of Wheat are Novel Target Antigens in Celiac Disease Humoral Response”. The main immunoreactive non-gluten antibody target proteins were identified as:   serpins, purinins, α-amylase/protease inhibitors, globulins, and farinins.

“In this study, we use high resolution two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, immunoblotting, proteome mapping, and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) to show that specific non-gluten proteins of wheat trigger a robust humoral immune response in patients with celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis”, the scientists reported.

The scientists concluded:   “… the results of this study clearly demonstrate that the humoral response to wheat in celiac disease is not limited to gluten antigens, but is also directed at specific non-gluten proteins. While direct conclusions cannot be drawn about the pathogenic effects of the identified non-gluten proteins, these findings should prompt further research into their potential role in contributing to the inflammatory processes that result in mucosal damage in patients with celiac disease. The possibility of such a role for these proteins is worthy of attention, especially as therapies other than gluten exclusion from the diet are under development.”

To read the complete article published in the Journal of Proteome Research, open HERE 


 Humoral: “relating to or being the part of immunity or the immune response that involves antibodies secreted by B cells and circulating in bodily fluids” (Mirriam



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On November 6th, 2014, posted in: CeliacCorner Blogs by

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