Protein allergenicity

Gluten proteins: gliadins and glutenins - the study of secondary structures

Wheat gluten proteins are commonly known as allergenic factors able to invoke a range of allergic symptoms in people suffering from gluten intolerance. A serious, social problem of gluten intolerance is strongly increased by the fact that gluten occurs in a huge majority of foodstuffs (especially in baked products) and, as a consequence, plays an essential role in human nutrition and the food industry. All of the variants of gluten immunological activity are strongly connected with the chemical composition and structures of gluten proteins that contain two highly polymorphic and heterogenic groups of proteins: gliadins and glutenins.

We analyze gliadin proteins extracted from two, closely related winter wheat genotypes: wasko.gl+ (containing the full set of gliadin protein fractions) and wasko.gl− (containing the same set of gliadins but lacking of all ω-gliadins). The goal of our studies is to explain whether and how the elimination of ω-fractions from the complex of αβγω-gliadins influences the secondary structures of the remaining αβγ-gliadins).

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​Publications on the topic:

  1. I. Stawoska, A. Wesełucha-Birczyńska, A. Skoczowski, M. Dziurka, J. Waga, ”FT-Raman Spectroscopy as a Tool to Study the Secondary Structures of Wheat Gliadin Proteins”, Molecules, 26 (2021) 5388 DOI: 10.3390/molecules26175388

  2. A. Skoczowski, K. Obtułowicz, E. Czarnobilska, W. Dyga, M. Mazur, I. Stawoska, J. Waga, “Antibody reactivity in patients with IgE-mediated wheat allergy to various subunits and fractions of gluten and non-gluten proteins from ω-gliadin-free wheat genotypes”, Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, 24 (2017) 229-236 DOI: 10.5604/12321966.1233572

  3. J. Waga, A. Skoczowski, “Development and characteristics of ω-gliadin-free wheat genotypes”, Euphytica, 195(1) (2014) 105-116. DOI: 10.1007/s10681-013-0984-1

Birch pollen allergenicity. Bet v1 protein - secondary structures

Pollen allergy becomes an increasing problem for humans, especially in regions where the air pollution level increases due to traffic and heating systems. These factors may also affect the physiological activity of plants, causing changes in pollen allergenicity.

In our research, the influence of air pollutants on the chemical composition of birch pollen and the secondary structures of the Bet v1 protein, which is pointed to as the most allergenic one, is undertaken. We apply FT- Raman spectroscopy and analysis of the amide I band to evaluate the protein’s secondary structure and to assess the changes in the chemical composition of birch pollen grains collected from urbanized and non-urbanized regions of southern Poland.