Immunochemical analysis of oat prolamins in European oat cultivars

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Celiac disease (CD) is a multisystem immune based disorder. Ingested gluten triggers a response that can lead to severe gastrointestinal symptoms, metabolic bone disease and/or infertility. The only current treatment is a strict gluten free diet. There is a compelling amount of evidence, including a number of clinical trials in Finland and Northern Europe, that oats can be a suitable and palatable part of a gluten free diet for both children and adult CD patients. Oats also have other properties of special interest, such as high content of dietary fibre, which in itself holds several scientifically approved nutritional health claims. However, there remains room for debate whether all oat cultivars are safe for CD patients. This why variations in protein composition and immunogenicity of avenins need to be further investigated before further clinical tests.
In the pursuit of improving current gluten-free analytics, 26 European oat cultivars have been characterised by protein content and immunological affinity. Chosen oat cultivars include both commercial lines and landraces (e.g. Finnish, Swedish, Greek, Italian, Dutch). Some of the cultivars have been recorded to possess gluten-like activity in immunological assays as well as activating T-cells in vitro. Oat seeds were grown in regulated growing chambers. Each cultivar was hand dehulled and ground to flour using a small coffee mill dedicated to oats. These precautions, among others, were taken to ensure samples remained uncontaminated. Total protein content of cultivars varied between 15 and 24%. After extraction with aqueous alcohol solution, cultivars were characterised and grouped based on qualitative SDS-PAGE avenin profiles. The immunological reactivity of the avenins from 26 cultivars towards R5 antibody, G12 antibody and polyclonal gliadin antibody were investigated. Avenins were recognised by polyclonal gliadin antibody, while other proteins co-extracted in the aqueous alcohol solution were not. None of the cultivars was recognised by R5 Sandwich ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) and western blot, indicating the epitope QQPFP, which repeatedly appeared in Triticeae prolamins, is not presented in oat avenins. This study has started the characterisation of oat prolamins. The gluten free status of oats needs to be clarified for the safe consumption of oats by celiac disease patients.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
Event5th International Symposium on Gluten-Free Cereal Products and Beverages 2019: Building products by knowledge - KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
Duration: 26 Jun 2019 → …


Conference5th International Symposium on Gluten-Free Cereal Products and Beverages 2019
Abbreviated titleGF19
Period26/06/2019 → …
Internet address

Fields of Science

  • 416 Food Science
  • R5
  • avenins
  • gluten-free

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