Published online Nov 26, 2019. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v7.i22.3912
Peer-review started: June 6, 2019
First decision: August 1, 2019
Revised: October 9, 2019
Accepted: October 15, 2019
Article in press: October 15, 2019
Published online: November 26, 2019
Core tip: Recently, various food additives were suspected to trigger autoimmunity, including celiac disease (CD). Microbial transglutaminase (mTG), a heavily used one that imitates functionally the autoantigen of CD is a prime environmental candidate to induce the disease. The enzyme increases gliadin uptake, is transported in a trans-epithelial way, has anti- phagocytic activity, enhances intestinal permeability and creates luminal resistant isopeptide bonds. Its gliadin cross-linked complexes are immunogenic and reflect the degree of intestinal injury in CD patients. The present letter updates and explains why the protein linker, mTG, is beneficial to food industries but a caveat to public health.