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Gastroenterology. 1988 Jan;94(1):41-9.

In vitro (organ culture) studies of the toxicity of specific A-gliadin peptides in celiac disease.

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Clinica Pediatrica, II Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia, Università di Napoli, Italy.


Specific peptides of known amino acid sequence were prepared from alpha-gliadin (A-gliadin) by cleavage of the protein with cyanogen bromide and chymotrypsin and purification of the resulting peptides. The three peptides derived from the cyanogen bromide cleavage spanned the complete sequence of A-gliadin (266 residues). Four peptides derived from chymotryptic digestion covered the N-terminal sequence through residue 68. These peptides were tested for toxicity in celiac disease by organ culture of biopsied small intestinal tissues taken from patients with active celiac disease. Enterocyte height was used as a measure of peptide effect on cultured tissues. Five of seven peptides tested significantly inhibited increase of enterocyte height in the cultures and were considered toxic on this basis. The largest common sequences among the toxic peptides were -pro-ser-gln-gln- and -gln-gln-gln-pro-; these sequences were absent from the nontoxic peptides. The relationship of these sequences to the damaging effect of gliadins on the small intestinal mucosa in celiac disease remains to be investigated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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