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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Clustering and cross-linking of the wheat storage protein ?-gliadin: A combined experimental and theoretical approach

Markgren, Joel; Rasheed, Faiza; Hedenqvist, Mikael S.; Skepo, Marie; Johansson, Eva


Our aim was to understand mechanisms for clustering and cross-linking of gliadins, a wheat seed storage protein type, monomeric in native state, but incorporated in network while processed. The mechanisms were studied utilizing spectroscopy and high-performance liquid chromatography on a gliadin-rich fraction, in vitro produced alpha-gliadins, and synthetic gliadin peptides, and by coarse-grained modelling, Monte Carlo simulations and prediction algorithms. In solution, gliadins with alpha-helix structures (dip at 205 nm in CD) were primarily present as monomeric molecules and clusters of gliadins (peaks at 650- and 700-s on SE-HPLC). At drying, large polymers (Rg 90.3 nm by DLS) were formed and 13-sheets increased (14% by FTIR). Trained algorithms predicted aggregation areas at amino acids 115-140, 150-179, and 250-268, and induction of liquid-liquid phase separation at P- and Poly-Q-sequences (Score = 1). Simulations showed that gliadins formed polymers by tail-to-tail or a hydrophobic core (Kratky plots and Ree = 35 and 60 for C- and N-terminal). Thus, the N-terminal formed clusters while the C-terminal formed aggregates by disulphide and lanthionine bonds, with favoured hydrophobic clustering of similar/exact peptide sections (synthetic peptide mixtures on SE-HPLC). Mechanisms of clustering and cross-linking of the gliadins presented here, contribute ability to tailor processing results, using these proteins.


Disulphide bonds; Monte Carlo simulations; Polymers; Synthetic peptides

Published in

International Journal of Biological Macromolecules
2022, volume: 211, pages: 592-615
Publisher: ELSEVIER

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Breeding
Rasheed, Faiza
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Breeding
Rasheed, Faiza
Royal Institute of Technology
Hedenqvist, Mikael S.
Royal Institute of Technology
Skepo, Marie
Lund University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Breeding

UKÄ Subject classification

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Polymer Chemistry

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