In the formation of the cornified cell envelope in the epidermis, epidermal-type transglutaminase (TGase 3) cross-links a variety of structural proteins. However, its expression in other tissue has not been investigated. Furthermore, no cell line expressing TGase 3 has been found. The tissue distribution of TGase 3 in mice was investigated using reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blotting analyses. TGase 3 mRNA was expressed in the brain, stomach, spleen, small intestine, testis, skeletal muscle and skin. The stomach and testis expressed TGase 3 protein in size similar to that observed in the epidermis. Screening various cell lines, a gastric human cancer cell line, MKN-1 and mouse neuroblast cell line, neuro2a, were found to express TGase 3.