Methods: A wheat gluten protein database was built with potential coeliac toxicity and IgE-reactivity assessed using in silicoepitope mapping. Gluten proteins were extracted from untransformed and GM wheat lines. Proteomic profiling was performed using data independent analysis. Data were processed and searched against a complete gluten database and additional IgE-mediated allergy proteins.
Results: The distribution of celiac toxic and IgE-epitopes was assessed in different gluten protein sub-types. The α-gliadins had the highest density of celiac toxic motifs, followed by the γ-gliadins. Proteomic profiling of wild-type and GM lines showed many gluten proteins not expressed in wheat seeds. Semi-quantitative analysis allowed differences in wild-type and GM lines to be identified with over-expression of HMW subunits of glutenin. Changes observed in expression of wheat gluten proteins and their implications for allergenicity risk assessment process are discussed.
Conclusions: Proteomic profiling of gluten proteins allows unintended effects of genetic modification to be assessed. Such evidence-based approaches help inform how the benefits of novel foods, including GM and food processing procedures are realised for the population whilst still protecting the allergic consumer.