Characterization of tissue transglutaminase 2 in macrophage function

Vinod Nadella, Vivian Wang, Martin Griffin, Andrew Devitt

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferencePoster


Programmed cell death, apoptosis, is a highly regulated process that removes damaged or unwanted cells in vivo and has significant immunological implications. Defective clearance of apoptotic cells by macrophages (professional phagocytes) is known to result in chronic inflammatory and autoimmune disease.

Tissue transglutaminase 2 (TG2) is a Ca2+-dependent protein cross linking enzyme known to play an important role in a number of cell functions. Up-regulation of TG2 is thought to be involved in monocyte to macrophage differentiation and defective clearance of apoptotic cells by TG2 null mice has been described though in this context the role of TG2 is yet to be fully elucidated. Cell surface-associated TG2 is now recognized as being important in regulating cell adhesion and migration, via its association with cell surface receptors such as syndecan-4, ß1 and ß3 integrin, but its extracellular role in the clearance of apoptotic cells is still not fully explored.

Our work aims to characterize the role of TG2 and its partners (e.g. syndecan-4 and ß3 integrin) in macrophage function within the framework of apoptotic cell clearance. Both THP-1 cell-derived macrophage-like cells and primary human macrophages were analyzed for the expression and function of TG2. Macrophage-apoptotic cell interaction studies in the presence of TG2 inhibitors (both cell permeable and impermeable, irreversible and active site directed) resulted in significant inhibition of interaction indicating a possible role for TG2 in apoptotic cell clearance. Macrophage cell surface TG2 and, in particular, its cell surface crosslinking activity was found to be crucial in dictating apoptotic cell clearance. Our further studies demonstrate syndecan-4 association with TG2 and imply possible cooperation of these proteins in apoptotic cell clearance. Knockdown studies of syndecan-4 reveal its importance in apoptotic cell clearance. Our current findings suggest that TG2 has a crucial but yet to be fully defined role in apoptotic cell clearance which seems to involve protein cross linking and interaction with other cell surface receptors.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2012
EventEMBO Conference on Cellular Signaling & Molecular Medicine - Cavtat, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Duration: 25 May 201229 May 2012


ConferenceEMBO Conference on Cellular Signaling & Molecular Medicine
CityCavtat, Dubrovnik


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