Transglutaminase mediated grafting of silk proteins onto wool fabrics leading to improved physical and mechanical properties

João Cortez*, Anna Anghieri, Philip L.R. Bonner, Martin Griffin, Giuliano Freddi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transglutaminases have the ability to incorporate primary amines and to graft peptides (containing glutamine or lysine residues) into proteins. These properties enable transglutaminases to be used in the grafting of a range of compounds including peptides and/or proteins onto wool fibres, altering their functionality. In this paper we investigated the transglutaminase mediated grafting of silk proteins into wool and its effect on wool properties. A commercial hydrolysed silk preparation was compared with silk sericin. The silk sericin protein was labelled with a fluorescent probe which was used to demonstrate the efficiency of the TGase grafting of such proteins into wool fibres. The TGase mediated grafting of these proteins led to a significant effect on the properties of wool yarn and fabric, resulting in increased bursting strength, as well as reduced levels of felting shrinkage and improved fabric softness. Also observed was an accumulation of deposits on the surface of the treated wool fibres when monitored by SEM and alterations in the thermal behaviour of the modified fibres, in particular for mTGase/sericin treated fibres which, with the confocal studies, corroborate the physical changes observed on the treated wool fabric. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1698-1704
Number of pages7
JournalEnzyme and Microbial Technology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2007
Event4th international conference on textile biotechnology INTB06 - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 4 Jun 20067 Jun 2006

Bibliographical note

Selected papers from the 4th International Conference on Textile Biotechnology INTB06, Seoul (KR), 4-7 June 2006.


  • grafting
  • sericin
  • silk
  • strength
  • transglutaminase
  • wool


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