November 22, 2020

Wheat prolamins

Mature cereal grains contain about 8-15% protein. Prolamins, the major class of storage proteins in cereals are synthesized at the endoplasmic reticulum during seed development and deposited into subcellular structures of the immature endosperm, the protein bodies.

Prolamins are defined as proteins extractable in aqueous ethanol. Prolamins of wheat are the major components of gluten, the properties of which determine the quality of wheat flour for various technological processes including breadmaking.

Wheat prolamins consist of a mixture of monomeric gliadins and polymeric glutenin subunits, which are present in approximately equal amounts. Together they form 80% of the total storage protein content in the wheat kernel. The remainder is albumins (12%) and globulins.

The glutenins are composed of a group of high molecular weight subunits, as well as a group of low molecular weight subunits. the low molecular weight glutenins are structurally similar to the S-rich gliadins and are therefore termed as aggregated gliadins. The monomeric gliadin subunits range in size from about 30 to 60 kDa and were originally classified into groups of α, β, γ and ω gliadins, based on their migration in acidic gels.

The prolamin fractions of wheat and related grains are implicated in the causation of celiac disease. The prolamins are the major storage proteins in these grains, so all of these grains contain ample gluten and are considered hazardous for celiac sufferers.
Wheat prolamins

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