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Review

Microbial Transglutaminase Is a Very Frequently Used Food Additive and Is a Potential Inducer of Autoimmune/Neurodegenerative Diseases

by 1,2,* and 1
1
Chaim Sheba Medical Center, The Zabludowicz Research Center for Autoimmune Diseases, Tel Hashomer 5262000, Israel
2
Ariel University, Ariel 40700, Israel
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Pauline M. Anton
Toxics 2021, 9(10), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9100233
Received: 24 August 2021 / Revised: 14 September 2021 / Accepted: 22 September 2021 / Published: 25 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Food Contaminants on Human Health)
Microbial transglutaminase (mTG) is a heavily used food additive and its industrial transamidated complexes usage is rising rapidly. It was classified as a processing aid and was granted the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) definition, thus escaping full and thorough toxic and safety evaluations. Despite the manufacturers claims, mTG or its cross-linked compounds are immunogenic, pathogenic, proinflammatory, allergenic and toxic, and pose a risk to public health. The enzyme is a member of the transglutaminase family and imitates the posttranslational modification of gluten, by the tissue transglutaminase, which is the autoantigen of celiac disease. The deamidated and transamidated gliadin peptides lose their tolerance and induce the gluten enteropathy. Microbial transglutaminase and its complexes increase intestinal permeability, suppresses enteric protective pathways, enhances microbial growth and gliadin peptide’s epithelial uptake and can transcytose intra-enterocytically to face the sub-epithelial immune cells. The present review updates on the potentially detrimental side effects of mTG, aiming to interest the scientific community, induce food regulatory authorities’ debates on its safety, and protect the public from the mTG unwanted effects. View Full-Text
Keywords: microbial transglutaminase; gluten; celiac disease; autoimmune disease; neurodegenerative disease; cross-linking; posttranslational modification of proteins; side effects; safety microbial transglutaminase; gluten; celiac disease; autoimmune disease; neurodegenerative disease; cross-linking; posttranslational modification of proteins; side effects; safety
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lerner, A.; Benzvi, C. Microbial Transglutaminase Is a Very Frequently Used Food Additive and Is a Potential Inducer of Autoimmune/Neurodegenerative Diseases. Toxics 2021, 9, 233. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9100233

AMA Style

Lerner A, Benzvi C. Microbial Transglutaminase Is a Very Frequently Used Food Additive and Is a Potential Inducer of Autoimmune/Neurodegenerative Diseases. Toxics. 2021; 9(10):233. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9100233

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lerner, Aaron, and Carina Benzvi. 2021. "Microbial Transglutaminase Is a Very Frequently Used Food Additive and Is a Potential Inducer of Autoimmune/Neurodegenerative Diseases" Toxics 9, no. 10: 233. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9100233

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