Tissue Transglutaminase Elevates Intraocular Pressure in Mice

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2017 Dec 1;58(14):6197-6211. doi: 10.1167/iovs.17-22236.


Purpose: Tissue transglutaminase (TGM2) is elevated in glaucomatous trabecular meshwork (TM) tissues. We investigated whether increased expression of TGM2 increases extracellular matrix crosslinking in the TM, thereby increasing aqueous humor outflow resistance and elevating intraocular pressure (IOP) in mouse eyes.

Methods: GTM3, primary human GTM 125-05, and cultured mouse TM cells were transduced with adenovirus serotype 5 expressing human transglutaminase 2 (Ad5.TGM2; multiplicity of infection [MOI]-75) and fixed for immunocytochemistry. To test the effect on IOP in living eyes, Ad5.TGM2 was injected intravitreally into one eye of BALB/cJ (n = 18) or C57BL/6J mice (n = 9). The uninjected contralateral eye and Ad5.GFP served as controls. Daytime conscious IOPs were measured twice per week. Aqueous outflow facility (C) was measured by constant flow infusion on completion of IOP measurements. Immunohistochemistry was performed on BALB/cJ mouse eyes to study TGM2 expression and activity.

Results: The treatment of cultured TM cells with Ad5.TGM2 increased immunostaining of N-ε(γ-glutamyl) lysine crosslinks. Ad5.TGM2 injection significantly increased IOP in BALB/cJ (15.86 mm Hg [injected] vs. 10.70 mm Hg [control]) and in C57BL/6J mice (17.09 mm Hg [injected] vs. 12.01 mm Hg [control]). Mean aqueous outflow facility in the injected eyes of BALB/cJ (0.013 μL/min/mm Hg) and C57BL/6J mice (0.012 μL/min/mm Hg) was significantly lower than in the uninjected control eyes (BALB/cJ, 0.021 μL/min/mm Hg; C57BL/6J, 0.019 μL/min/mm Hg). The Ad5.TGM2 transduction of mouse eyes increased TGM2 expression in the TM region and increased N-ε(γ-glutamyl) lysine crosslinks.

Conclusions: The increased expression of TGM2 in the TM increases N-ε(γ-glutamyl) lysine crosslinking in the TM, increases aqueous outflow resistance, and elevates IOP in mice. TGM2 may be at least partially responsible for ocular hypertension in POAG.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aqueous Humor / enzymology*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cells, Cultured
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / biosynthesis
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / enzymology
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / genetics*
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / pathology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intraocular Pressure*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Protein Glutamine gamma Glutamyltransferase 2
  • RNA / genetics*
  • Trabecular Meshwork / enzymology*
  • Trabecular Meshwork / pathology
  • Transglutaminases / biosynthesis
  • Transglutaminases / genetics*


  • TGM2 protein, human
  • RNA
  • Protein Glutamine gamma Glutamyltransferase 2
  • Transglutaminases
  • GTP-Binding Proteins