Transglutaminases in Medical Research


Transglutaminase (TGase) is an enzyme that catalyzes the acyl transfer reaction. It uses the C-carboxamide group of the glutamine residue in the peptide bond as the acyl donor, and the E-amino group of the lysyl residue in the polypeptide chain as the acyl acceptor, forming intramolecular and intermolecular E-C-(Glutamyl)-lysine isopeptide bonds, which allow protein molecules to cross-link. TGase is widely distributed in nature. TGase was first isolated and purified from mammals, and then proteins with TGase activity were found from microorganisms, plants, vertebrates, amphibians, fish and birds. In mammals, TGase is widely distributed in various tissues, such as blood, liver, hair follicle, epidermis, prostate and so on. It participates in various physiological functions, such as cell adhesion, cell differentiation, cell death and maintenance of extracellular matrix stability. It has attracted increasing attention that TGase is closely related to some human diseases, such as neurodegeneration, autoimmune states (such as celiac disease), cancer, inflammation and tissue fibrosis.