International Journal of Celiac Disease
ISSN (Print): 2334-3427 ISSN (Online): 2334-3486 Website: Editor-in-chief: Samasca Gabriel
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International Journal of Celiac Disease. 2015, 3(1), 1-6
DOI: 10.12691/ijcd-3-1-10
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Food Industrial Microbial Transglutaminase in Celiac Disease: Treat or Trick

Aaron Lerner1, and Torsten Matthias2

1Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Unit, Carmel Medical Center, B, Rappaport School of Medicine, Technion-Israel institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.

2Aesku. Kipp Institute, Wendelsheim, Germany

Pub. Date: March 06, 2015

Cite this paper:
Aaron Lerner and Torsten Matthias. Food Industrial Microbial Transglutaminase in Celiac Disease: Treat or Trick. International Journal of Celiac Disease. 2015; 3(1):1-6. doi: 10.12691/ijcd-3-1-10


The surge in incidence of celiac disease (CD) is due more to environmental than to genetic changes. It is paralleled by a food industry that is continuously introducing additives to processed products. Microbial transglutaminase (mTG) is an enzyme that deamidates/transamidates proteins, enabling cross-linkage of molecules and revolutionizing the properties of many food products. It belongs to the family of transaminases and tissue transglutaminase (tTG) has been identified as the autoantigen in CD. Both enzymes de/transamidate gluten, the nutritional environmental factor that induces CD. Although several studies have shown that mTG transamidation of wheat flour/gluten can detoxify gluten peptide in vitro, by inhibiting the response to intestinal gliadin, inducing T cells and reducing INFγ production without influencing their main technological properties, a word of caution is advised. The oral challenge of adult CD patients with mTG transamidated flour was found to be only partially effective, not fulfilling expectations, and there have been multiple recent observations that indicate that mTG transamidated flour/gluten could be dangerous to gluten sensitive populations: mTG cross-linking of gluten may be hazardous in CD since the enzyme can deamidate gluten, thus mimicking endogenous tTG, it can link an extensive repertoire of proteins and other macromolecules with immunogenic potential, mTG treated gluten peptides are immunogenic to celiac patients, inducing specific IgA antibodiesand are recognized by gluten-specific humanT cells. Their effect on CD intestinal permeability has not yet been studied. To better understand the actual processes and events, associated with the suggested mTG therapy, long-term ex vivo and in vitro studies are needed. Until then, it is best to respect the data but suspect the safety of the gluten sensitive populations.

celiac disease microbial transglutaminase gluten immunogenicity tissue transglutaminase therapy

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