Transglutaminases stabilize a variety of biological structures by cross-linking constituent proteins. This action appears physiologically important in stabilizing (1) keratinocyte cornified envelopes, (2) fibrin clots, (3) the copulation plug in rodents, and (4) the fertilized egg surface in aquatic species. Several transglutaminases that participate in such processes have been well characterized and found, though highly divergent, to differ in sequence primarily at the amino terminus. Comparison of their gene structures suggests a likely mechanism by which new members may arise that assume a diversity of functions. The functions of some members of this family are presently unknown, including the tissue transglutaminase found in many mammalian cell types, and those found in plants. Most of the transglutaminases identified are soluble enzymes, but several that are membrane-bound have gained recognition recently. The best characterized of the latter is keratinocyte transglutaminase, which is anchored in the membrane by acylated fatty acid. Important for proper epidermal cell maturation, expression of this enzyme is greatly altered by physiological effectors and toxic agents. In addition, it is induced by cultivation of cells from non-squamous epithelia. Thus, it is a promising marker for helping to elucidate the molecular basis by which keratinocyte differentiation is elicited or altered.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Epithelial cell biology|
|State||Published - Jul 1992|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research
- Cell Biology