Gluten and the Gut--Lessons for Immune Regulation

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Science  27 Sep 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5590, pp. 2218-2220
DOI: 10.1126/science.1077572

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Celiac sprue is a common disease in which an immune response to the gluten in wheat results in an inflammatory reaction in the small intestine that can prevent the absorption of nutrients. In a Perspective, Schuppan and Hahn discuss new work (Shan et al.) that identifies a 33-amino acid peptide in gluten that contains the major immunogenic epitopes. This discovery opens the door to developing therapeutic strategies to treat celiac sprue by destroying this peptide.