Journal of Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 106–112 | Cite as

Molecular characterization of α-gliadin gene sequences in Indian wheat cultivars vis-à-vis celiac disease eliciting epitopes

  • Anupriya Kaur
  • Navtej S. Bains
  • Ajit Sood
  • Bharat Yadav
  • Priti Sharma
  • Satinder Kaur
  • Monika Garg
  • Vandana Midha
  • Parveen ChhunejaEmail author
Short Communication


α-Gliadin proteins of the wheat gluten form a multigene family encoded by genomic loci Gli-A2, Gli-B2 and Gli-D2 located on the homoeologous wheat chromosomes 6AS, 6BS, and 6DS, respectively which upon partial digestion elicits celiac disease (CD) in the genetically susceptible individuals. The present investigation was planned to study the variations in the amino acid sequence of the α-gliadin proteins and CD eliciting epitopes in the Indian wheat cultivars. Representative wheat varieties released and cultivated in India during the period 1905–2011 were selected for studying the α-gliadin genes by cloning and sequencing followed by in silico analysis of the gene sequences. A lot of variation for α-gliadin gene sequences especially in T cell stimulatory epitopes glia-α9, glia-α20, glia-α2 and glia-α was observed in different wheat varieties. Modern varieties released during 1971–2011 had higher proportion of intact T-cell stimulatory epitopes. The old wheat varieties released in the period 1905–1970 on the other hand had large proportion of variant epitopes. We identified three wheat varieties namely C591, C273 and K78 having only variant epitopes at Gli-D2 and Gli-B2 and both intact and variant epitopes at Gli-A2. Identification of lower proportion of T-cell stimulatory epitopes in these three varieties is the first step towards developing a wheat variety less immunogenic for celiac disease patients. The gene sequences of the selected varieties have been submitted at NCBI with accession numbers GenBank KJ410473–KJ410488.


α-Gliadin genes Celiac disease T-cell stimulatory epitopes Wheat 



Celiac disease


Human leukocyte antigen DQ2 and DQ8 locus


Open reading frame


High molecular weight


Low molecular weight



Financial assistance provided by Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, New Delhi in the form of various grants is gratefully acknowledged.

Authors’ contributions

Anupriya Kaur: Acquisition of data, analysis and interpretation of data, statistical analysis; Navtej S. Bains: Plant Material, critical revision of the manuscript; Ajit Sood: Study concept, critical revision of the manuscript; Bharat Yadav: Analysis and interpretation of data; Priti Sharma: Acquisition of data; Monika Garg: Acquisition of data and manuscript editing; Vandana Midha: Critical revision of the manuscript; Parveen Chhuneja: Study concept and design, Study Supervision, drafting of the manuscript, Manuscript submission.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Supplementary material

13562_2016_367_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (3.8 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 3918 kb)


  1. Alaedini A, Green PH (2005) Narrative review: celiac disease: understanding a complex autoimmune disorder. Ann Intern Med 142:289–298CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Green PH, Jabri B (2006) Celiac disease. Annu Rev Med 57:207–221CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Hausch F, Shan L, Santiago NA, Gray GM, Khosla C (2002) Intestinal digestive resistance of immunodominant gliadin peptides. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 283:996–1003CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Makharia GK, Verma AK, Amarchand R, Bhatnagar S, Das P, Goswami A, Bhatia V, Ahuja V, Datta Gupta S, Anand K (2010) Prevalance of celiac disease in Northern part of India: a community based study. J Gastroenterol Hepatol 26:894–900CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Mitea C, Salentijn EM, van Veelen P, Goryunova SV, van der Meer IM, van den Broeck HC, Mujico JR, Montserrat V, Gilissen LJ, Drijfhout JW, Dekking L, Koning F, Smulders MJ (2010) A universal approach to eliminate antigenic properties of alpha-gliadin peptides in celiac disease. PLoS ONE 5:e15637CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. Salentijn EMJ, Goryunova SV, Bas N, Van der Meer IM, Van den Broeck HC, Bastien T, Gilissen LJWJ, Smulders MJM (2009) Tetraploid and hexaploid wheat varieties reveal large differences in expression of alpha-gliadins from homoeologous Gli-2 loci. BMC Genomics 10:48CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Shan L, Molberg O, Parrot I, Hausch F, Filiz F, Gary GM, Sollid LM, Khosla C (2002) Structural basis for gluten intolerance in celiac sprue. Science 297:2275–2279CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Sood A, Midha V, Sood N, Avasthi G, Sehgal A (2006) Prevalence of celiac disease among school children in Punjab, North India. J Gastroenterol Hepatol 21:1622–1625CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Spaenij-Dekking L, Kooy-Winkelaar Y, Van Veelen P, Wouter Drijfhout J, Jonker H, Van Soest L, Smulders M, Bosch D, Gilissen L, Koning F (2005) Natural variation in toxicity of wheat: potential for selection of nontoxic varieties for celiac disease patients. Gastroenterology 129:797–806CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Vaccino P, Becker HA, Brandolini A, Salamini F, Kilian B (2009) A catalogue of Triticum monococcum genes encoding toxic and immunogenic peptides for celiac disease patients. Mol Gen Genomics 281:289–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Van den Broeck HC, De Jong HC, Salentijn EMJ, Dekking L, Bosch D, Hamer RJ, Gilissen LJ, Van der Meer IM, Smulders MJ (2010) Presence of celiac disease epitopes in modern and old hexaploid wheat varieties: wheat breeding may have contributed to increased prevalence of celiac disease. Theor Appl Genet 121:1527–1539CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. Van Herpen TWJM, Goryunova S, Van der Schoot J, Mitreva M, Salentijn EMJ, Vorst O, Schenk M, Van Veelen P, Koning F, VanSoest L, Vosman B, Bosch D, Hamer RJ, Gilissen L, Smulders MJM (2006) Alpha-gliadin genes from the A, B, and D genomes of wheat contain different sets of celiac disease epitopes. BMC Genomics 7:1–13CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Society for Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anupriya Kaur
    • 1
  • Navtej S. Bains
    • 2
  • Ajit Sood
    • 3
  • Bharat Yadav
    • 1
  • Priti Sharma
    • 1
  • Satinder Kaur
    • 1
  • Monika Garg
    • 4
  • Vandana Midha
    • 3
  • Parveen Chhuneja
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Agricultural BiotechnologyPunjab Agricultural UniversityLudhianaIndia
  2. 2.Department of Plant Breeding and GeneticsPunjab Agricultural UniversityLudhianaIndia
  3. 3.Dayanand Medical College and HospitalLudhianaIndia
  4. 4.National Agri-Food Biotechnology InstituteMohaliIndia

Personalised recommendations