Dual functions of transglutaminase in novel cell adhesion

Shoko Ueki, Junichi Takagi, Yuji Saito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Transglutaminases (TGases) are enzymes which catalyze cross-link formation between glutamine residues and lysine residues in substrate proteins. In the present study, we report for the first time that a representative enzyme, blood coagulation factor XIIIa (FXIIIa), is capable of mediating adhesion of various cells. When coated on plastic surfaces FXIIIa promoted adhesion and spreading of various cells of both normal and tumor origin, in a concentration-dependent manner. The adhesion was not inhibited by antibodies against possible contaminants in the enzyme preparation such as fibronectin and vitronectin, but was completely inhibited by a polyclonal antibody against the enzyme. Therefore, if there were any contaminating cell adhesive substrates in the enzyme preparation, they cannot account for the observed cell adhesion to the enzyme; FXIIIa itself mediates the cell adhesion. Furthermore, phosphorylation of tyrosine residues in 120 kDa and 70 kDa proteins was clearly shown in human fibroblasts adhering to the enzyme. Formation of actin stress fibers was also unambiguously observed in the adhering cells. These biochemical reactions, which are also observed when cells adhere to a typical cell adhesion protein, fibronectin, are believed to be of importance in the process of cell adhesion. This adhesion activity of FXIIIa was dependent on its TGase activity, because both a modification of the active center cysteine with iodoacetamide and the addition of ammonium ion abolished the cell adhesion activity along with the enzyme activity. The cell adhesion to fibronectin, however, was not affected by these treatments. The effects of various anti-integrin antibodies suggested that both αvβ3 and β1 family integrins participated in the cell adhesion to FXIIIa. Taken together, these data demonstrate for the first time that there is a unique TGase activity-mediated cell adhesion. This novel function of the enzyme may be of physiological importance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2727-2735
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood coagulation factor XIIIa
  • Cell adhesion
  • Integrin
  • Transglutaminase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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