Gluten-related disorders are a complex group of diseases that involve the activation of the immune system triggered by the ingestion of gluten. Among these, celiac disease, with a prevalence of 1 %, is the most investigated, but recently, a new pathology, named nonceliac gluten sensitivity, was reported with a general prevalence of 7 %. Finally, there other less-prevalent gluten-related diseases such as wheat allergy, gluten ataxia, and dermatitis herpetiformis (with an overall prevalence of less than 0.1 %). As mentioned, the common molecular trigger is gluten, a complex mixture of storage proteins present in wheat, barley, and a variety of oats that are not fully degraded by humans. The most-studied protein related to disease is gliadin, present in wheat, which possesses in its sequence many pathological fragments. Despite a lot of effort to treat these disorders, the only effective method is a long-life gluten-free diet. This Review summarizes the actual knowledge of gluten-related disorders from a translational chemistry point of view. We discuss what is currently known from the literature about the interaction of gluten with the gut and the critical host responses it evokes and, finally, connect them to our current and novel molecular understanding of the supramolecular organization of gliadin and the 33-mer gliadin peptide fragment under physiological conditions.
Keywords: gluten-related disorders; immunology; oligomerization; peptides; protein structures.