A new enzyme has been discovered that can aid in the treatment of celiac disease. Celiac disease causes an auto-immune reaction in people having gluten allergy or intolerance. When a gluten intolerant person eats anything with gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, they suffer mild to severe allergic reaction.
According to the researchers at the Stanford University, this new enzyme could be a novel treatment of the disease.
Celiac disease symptoms include, belching, diarrhoea, fat in stool, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, or flatulence. These symptoms also include allergic reactions for other related carbohydrates, even though the gluten intolerance is triggered by a protein found in wheat and related plants. This study published in in the Journal of Biological Chemistry shows that gluten triggers an overactive immune response when it's altered by the enzyme transglutaminase 2, or TG2, in the small intestine. The researchers have pin-pointed the enzyme that turns off TG2, possibly finding new methods of treatment for celiac disease.
Presently, there are no sure-fire therapies to treat people with celiac disease. Doctors prescribe a strict adherence to a lifelong gluten-free diet. A poor understanding of the enzyme TG2 is one of the reasons that gluten intolerance or celiac disease has no effective treatments.
While there’s an abundance of TG2 in the small intestine, it was unclear what turns the protein on & off. The enzyme, ERp57, known for helping fold proteins inside the cell, turns off TG2 outside of cells. “TG2 is oxidatively inactivated by the protein disulfide isomerase ERp57, providing the first example of a defined and reversible protein-controlled redox switch and pointing to new strategies to inhibit undesirable TG2 activity in pathological states," the study authors stated.
This odd feature of ERp57 requires in-depth study as this on and off chemistry could be the key to celiac treatment, the researchers concluded.
Here are a few of the gluten-free list of grains for those want to avoid wheat: