Gluten is a complex mixture of storage proteins in cereals like wheat, barley, and rye. Prolamins are the main components of gluten. Their high content in proline and glutamine makes them water-insoluble and difficult to digest in the gastrointestinal tract. Partial digestion generates peptide sequences which trigger immune responses in celiac and gluten-sensitive patients. Gluten detection in food is challenging because of the diversity, in various food matrices, of protein proportions or modifications and the huge number of immunogenic sequences with differential potential immunoactivity. Attempts to develop standard reference materials have been unsuccessful. Recent studies have reported the detection of a limited number of dominant Gluten Immunogenic Peptides (GIP) that share similarities to epitopes presented in the α
-gliadin 33-mer, which showed to be highly proteolytic resistant and is considered to be the most immunodominant peptide within gluten in celiac disease (CD). GIP were detectable and quantifiable in very different kind of difficult to analyze food, revealing the potential immunogenicity by detecting T-cell activity of celiac patients. But GIP were also found in stool and urine of celiac patients on a supposedly gluten-free diet (GFD), showing the capacity to resist and be absorbed and excreted from the body, providing the first simple and objective means to assess adherence to the GFD. Methods to specifically and sensitively detect the most active GIP in food and biological fluids are rational candidates may use similar analytical standard references for determination of the immunopathological risk of gluten exposure in gluten-related diseases.
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