Transglutaminase 2: an enigmatic enzyme with diverse functions

Trends Biochem Sci. 2002 Oct;27(10):534-9. doi: 10.1016/s0968-0004(02)02182-5.


Transglutaminase 2 (TG2) is an inducible transamidating acyltransferase that catalyzes Ca(2+)-dependent protein modifications. It acts as a G protein in transmembrane signalling and as a cell surface adhesion mediator, this distinguishes it from other members of the transglutaminase family. The sequence motifs and domains revealed in the recent TG2 structure, can each be assigned distinct cellular functions, including the regulation of cytoskeleton, cell adhesion and cell death. Ablation of TG2 in mice results in impaired wound healing, autoimmunity and diabetes, reflecting the number and variety of TG2 functions. An important role for the enzyme in the pathogenesis of coeliac disease, fibrosis and neurodegenerative disorders has also been demonstrated, making TG2 an important therapeutic target.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Amino Acids / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / adverse effects
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / chemistry*
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / deficiency
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Glutamine gamma Glutamyltransferase 2
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Transglutaminases / adverse effects
  • Transglutaminases / chemistry*
  • Transglutaminases / deficiency
  • Transglutaminases / metabolism*


  • Amino Acids
  • Protein Glutamine gamma Glutamyltransferase 2
  • Transglutaminases
  • GTP-Binding Proteins