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Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 16;7:44609. doi: 10.1038/srep44609.

Genome-wide analysis of complex wheat gliadins, the dominant carriers of celiac disease epitopes.

Wang DW1,2,3, Li D1,2, Wang J1,2, Zhao Y1, Wang Z1,2, Yue G1, Liu X1, Qin H1, Zhang K1, Dong L1, Wang D1,2,4.

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The State Key Laboratory of Plant cell and Chromosome Engineering, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
Tobacco Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Qingdao, China.
The Collaborative Innovation Center for Grain Crops, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou, China.


Gliadins, specified by six compound chromosomal loci (Gli-A1/B1/D1 and Gli-A2/B2/D2) in hexaploid bread wheat, are the dominant carriers of celiac disease (CD) epitopes. Because of their complexity, genome-wide characterization of gliadins is a strong challenge. Here, we approached this challenge by combining transcriptomic, proteomic and bioinformatic investigations. Through third-generation RNA sequencing, full-length transcripts were identified for 52 gliadin genes in the bread wheat cultivar Xiaoyan 81. Of them, 42 were active and predicted to encode 25 α-, 11 γ-, one δ- and five ω-gliadins. Comparative proteomic analysis between Xiaoyan 81 and six newly-developed mutants each lacking one Gli locus indicated the accumulation of 38 gliadins in the mature grains. A novel group of α-gliadins (the CSTT group) was recognized to contain very few or no CD epitopes. The δ-gliadins identified here or previously did not carry CD epitopes. Finally, the mutant lacking Gli-D2 showed significant reductions in the most celiac-toxic α-gliadins and derivative CD epitopes. The insights and resources generated here should aid further studies on gliadin functions in CD and the breeding of healthier wheat.

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