Tissue transglutaminase--the key player in celiac disease: a review.Autoimmun Rev 2004; 3(1):40-5AR
Gluten-sensitive enteropathy, otherwise known as celiac sprue, is characterized by an abnormal proximal small intestinal mucosa arising as a result of an inappropriate inflammatory response to ingested gluten antigens present in wheat in genetically susceptible individuals. This immune response is directed to a 33-mer peptide of the alpha gliadin component of gluten. The generation of an epitope for the recognition by CD4+ T cells requires deamination of the protein by tissue transglutaminase (tTG). Moreover, IgA anti tTG is highly sensitive and is specific serologic marker (95-99%) of celiac disease. They can be easily determined quantitatively, by ELISA of an accurate and relatively inexpensive technique. Therefore, tTG can be used as the first line diagnostic test in the work-up of celiac disease, as well as for screening purposes. Finally, tTG may contribute to future strategies in treating celiac disease either by producing nontoxic wheat or by generating oral vaccination that can prevent the disease.