July 2000 - Chemistry In Britain
Summarized by Linda Blanchard
One single peptide did trigger the reaction. Now that it has been identified, it is hoped that some solutions to the problems caused by celiac disease may become available. Two approaches seem to involve "turning off" the reaction -- its thought that offering a megadose of the particular peptide might turn the immune reaction off. Another method would involve offering a peptide that was very similar to the offending piece of wheat protein -- but just enough different that it might "turn off" the reaction.
Another possibility is, of course, genetically modified wheat. It should be possible for scientists to develop a wheat that has a different peptide in the place of the offender, which would hopefully look, taste, and act as wheat does in normal baking without triggering celiac reactions.