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J Mol Biol. 2000 Jul 28;300(5):1155-67.

Human genome search in celiac disease using gliadin cDNA as probe.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.


Celiac disease is a wheat gliadin-promoted disorder that displays a complex genetic susceptibility associated with HLA-DQ2, and one or more unknown factor(s), possibly gliadin-like. The presence of mammalian proteins with partial gliadin similarity was suggested by transglutaminase-independent multi-tissue reactivity of gliadin-immunopurified antibodies from celiac patients. No non-plant sequence, however, was identified in gliadin peptide epitope searches of non-redundant and EST databanks via TBLASTN, BLASTP and FASTA, even at E values as high as 20. Therefore, an alpha-gliadin cDNA screen of human cDNA and genomic libraries was undertaken, an approach in keeping with positive human Northern and Southern analyses with the same probe. Four distinct cDNA clones were obtained, the most stringent of which (3.2 and 5.1 kb) were novel, and featured potential open reading frames with high gliadin domain II and domain IV homologies (BestFit quality scores >/=295 and 322, respectively, versus random value 126-127). Both were also homologous to ESTs. An additional 5' gliadin oligonucleotide screen identified the widely distributed cytoplasmic protein acyl coA hydrolase whose homology was restricted to the oligonucleotide probe (BestFit quality=215 versus 100 for random); and achaete-scute homologous protein, which displays particularly high gliadin domain II homology (BestFit quality 316 versus 111 for random). Genomic screening uncovered 16 positives, one of which was the ALR gene, whose similarity to three of gliadin's five domains (I, II and IV; BestFit quality 322-473 versus 121-154 for random) was remarkable. More extensive was novel genomic clone 2, with fragments hybridizing to cDNA probes approximating gliadin domains I, II+IV, V and the gliadin 5' untranslated region, and mapping by FISH to 19q13.11-13. 12. Two fragments were sequenced; one was exonic, as predicted by four different programs; and test oligonucleotides suggested widespread 4 and/or 2 kb mRNA expression, even at high stringency (t(m)-8.8 deg. C). Taken together, it is apparent that several genes with partial gliadin homology exist in the human genome. Many bear gliadin-like T-cell epitopes, are expressed in intestine and, like transglutaminase, are cytoplasmic. Glutamine to glutamic acid or other mutation within such epitopes followed by injury or infection-related release could explain enhanced disease susceptibility in affected families.

Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

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