Celiac disease (CD) is an inflammatory disease of the upper small intestine in genetically predisposed individuals caused by glutamine- and proline-rich peptides from cereal storage proteins (gluten) with a minimal length of nine amino acids. Such peptides are insufficiently degraded
by gastrointestinal enzymes; they permeate the lymphatic tissue, are bound to celiac-specific, antigen-presenting cells, and stimulate intestinal T-cells. The typical clinical pattern is a flat small intestinal mucosa and malabsorption. Currently, the only therapy is a strict, lifelong gluten-free
diet. Recent research has shown that gluten and gluten peptides can be degraded by prolyl endopeptidases from different sources. These peptidases can either be used to produce gluten-free foods from gluten-containing raw materials, or they have been suggested as an oral therapy for CD, in
which dietary gluten is hydrolyzed by coingested peptidases already in the stomach, thus preventing CD-specific immune reactions in the small intestine. This would be an alternative for CD patients to the gluten-free diet. Furthermore, microbial transglutaminase could be used to detoxify gluten
either by selectively modifying glutamine residues of intact gluten by transamidation with lysine methyl ester or by crosslinking gluten peptides in beverages via isopeptide bonds so that they can be removed by filtration.
The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.