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Chem Biol. 2006 Jun;13(6):649-58.

Rational design of combination enzyme therapy for celiac sprue.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


Celiac sprue (also known as celiac disease) is an inheritable, gluten-induced enteropathy of the upper small intestine with an estimated prevalence of 0.5%-1% in most parts of the world. The ubiquitous nature of food gluten, coupled with inadequate labeling regulations in most countries, constantly poses a threat of disease exacerbation and relapse for patients. Here, we demonstrate that a two-enzyme cocktail comprised of a glutamine-specific cysteine protease (EP-B2) that functions under gastric conditions and a PEP, which acts in concert with pancreatic proteases under duodenal conditions, is a particularly potent candidate for celiac sprue therapy. At a gluten:EP-B2:PEP weight ratio of 75:3:1, grocery store gluten is fully detoxified within 10 min of simulated duodenal conditions, as judged by chromatographic analysis, biopsy-derived T cell proliferation assays, and a commercial antigluten antibody test.

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