Wheat Varieties Suitable for Celiac Patients

María J. Giménez, Javier Gil-Humanes, Carmen Victoria Ozuna, Francisco Barro


Domesticated wheat is very complex genetically due to its origins in an ancestral diploid species, which underwent a process of natural hybridization and subsequent polyploidization. All cultivated wheat varieties and their wild relatives contain epitopes, which are toxic in relation to celiac disease. RNAi is an excellent tool for silencing single genes or groups of them. Combining this technology with genetic manipulation the authors have down-regulated the toxic epitopes present in ω-, γ-and α-gliadins of bread wheat. Monoclonal antibodies showed a decrease of almost 98% in the presence of toxic gluten. Protein extracts from those lines were assayed using specific T lymphocytes for DQ2 and DQ8 epitopes, showing that the new wheat lines were 100 times less reactive than their parental genotypes. These results represent a major breakthrough in achieving wheat types suitable for CD patients. The silencing of gliadins is a new breeding trait and can be transferred by crossbreeding with elite wheat varieties. A daily intake between 10 and 50 mg of gluten could be safe for most CD patients, suggesting that the transgenic lines reported here could be used in foodstuffs tolerated by many CD patients. Moreover, these lines could serve as a basis for treating other gluten pathologies such as wheat-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis and gluten sensitivity.

Palabras clave

celiac, wheat varieties

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