Brachypodium distachyon, a small annual grass with seed storage globulins as primary protein reserves was used in our study to analyse the toxic nature of non-prolamin seed storage proteins related to celiac disease. The main storage proteins of B. distachyon are the 7S globulin type proteins and the 11S, 12S seed storage globulins similar to oat and rice. Immunoblot analyses using serum samples from celiac disease patients were carried out followed by the identification of immune-responsive proteins using mass spectrometry. Serum samples from celiac patients on a gluten-free diet, from patients with Crohn's disease and healthy subjects, were used as controls. The identified proteins with intense serum-IgA reactivity belong to the 7S and 11-12S seed globulin family. Structure prediction and epitope predictions analyses confirmed the presence of celiac disease-related linear B cell epitope homologs and the presence of peptide regions with strong HLA-DQ8 and DQ2 binding capabilities. These results highlight that both MHC-II presentation and B cell response may be developed not only to prolamins but also to seed storage globulins. This is the first study of the non-prolamin type seed storage proteins of Brachypodium from the aspect of the celiac disease.
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