This web page was produced as an assignment for Genetics 677, an undergraduate course at UW-Madison.


Chemical Genetics


2D structure of Gliadin.
According to a PubChem search, I discovered that Gliadin is the known toxic factor associated with Celiac Disease.  This toxicity arises due to the fact that Gliadin is a simple protein derived from the gluten of wheat, rye, etc. 

How does gliadin function at the molecular level?

Although its exact mechanism in the toxic immune response has not net been determined, several mechanisms have been investigated hoping to uncover how gliadin acts at the molecular level.  For example, it has been proposed that the gliadin peptide binds to the HLA-DQA1 subunit more tightly than other forms of the antigen presenting cell (APC) receptor [1].  This binding has been thought to activate the T-cells, which play a primary role in initiating the inflammatory autoimmune response.  The image below shows the known mechanism of normal HLA-DQA1 presenting peptides to T-cells, and the proposed binding location of the gliadin peptide following gluten ingestion [1].