Celiac.com 05/28/2012 - Two researchers recently conducted an assessment of the contribution of celiac disease autoantibodies to the disease process.
The protein transglutaminase 2 is a multifunctional protein that plays a role in cellular adhesion.
Moreover, transglutaminase 2 has been identified as the auto-antigen in celiac disease, and in untreated celiac disease. In addition to being present in the serum, the transglutaminase 2-targeted autoantibodies are bound to their antigen in the basement membrane underlining the small-bowel mucosal epithelium.
Furthermore, studies have shown that disease-specific transglutaminase 2-targeted autoantibodies have a range of biological effects on different cell types.
By using Caco-2 intestinal epithelial cells, Lindfors and Kaukinen show that serum transglutaminase 2-targeted autoantibodies from untreated celiac patients inhibit the adhesion of these cells.
These results offer an important direction for future research to improve the basic understanding of celiac disease pathogenesis, and especially how disease-specific autoantibodies function as the disease progresses.