Gluten derived from wheat and related triticeae cereals possesses distinct amino acid sequences that provoke the immunopathogenic features of celiac disease (CD) in genetically susceptible individuals. However, the role of oat-derived gluten, or avenins, in CD pathogenesis remains a disputed matter, as evidenced by a lack in harmonized legislation regarding gluten classification in relation to gluten-free labeling. In this study, we have analyzed a panel of pure oat cultivars using a sandwich ELISA based on the R5 monoclonal antibody (mAb), which binds to canonical epitopes occurring within celiagenic peptides present in triticeae-derived gluten but reportedly not present in avenins. We have identified three varieties of oats that reproducibly bind R5 antibodies and levels indicating the presence of gluten at more than the 20 ppm gluten regulatory threshold. Nested assessment using Western blot analysis and alternative gluten detection systems corroborated these results. Collectively, these data suggest that select oat varieties may prove problematic to patients with CD and to food companies and regulatory agencies and will extend our basic understanding of current gluten detection systems.
Keywords: ELISA; R5 monoclonal antibody; avenin; celiac disease; gluten; oats; prolamins.