Wheat glutenin: the “tail” of the 1By protein subunits

Júlio D. Nunes-Miranda, Emmanuelle Bancel, Didier Viala, Christophe Chambon, José L. Capelo, Gérard Branlard, Catherine Ravel, Gilberto Igrejas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Gluten-forming storage proteins play a major role in the viscoelastic properties of wheat dough through the formation of a continuous proteinaceous network. The high-molecular-weight glutenin subunits represent a functionally important subgroup of gluten proteins by promoting the formation of large glutenin polymers through interchain disulphide bonds between glutenin subunits. Here, we present evidences that y-type glutenin subunits encoded at the Glu-B1 locus are prone to proteolytic processing at the C-terminus tail, leading to the loss of the unique cysteine residue present at the C-terminal domain. Results obtained by intact mass measurement and immunochemistry for each proteoform indicate that the proteolytic cleavage appears to occur at the carboxyl-side of two conserved asparagine residues at the C-terminal domain start. Hence, we hypothesize that the responsible enzymes are a class of cysteine endopeptidases - asparaginyl endopeptidases - described in post-translational processing of other storage proteins in wheat. Biological significance The reported study provides new insights into wheat storage protein maturation. In view of the importance of gluten proteins on dough viscoelastic properties and end-product quality, the reported C-terminal domain cleavage of high-molecular-weight glutenin subunits is of particular interest, since this domain possesses a unique conserved cysteine residue which is assumed to participate in gluten polymerization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-142
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Proteomics
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2017


  • 1By HMW-GS
  • Asparagine
  • Asparaginyl endopeptidase
  • C-terminal domain maturation
  • Proteolytic cleavage
  • Wheat glutenin


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