Polyamines influence transglutaminase activity and cell migration in two cell lines. Academic Article uri icon


  • Transglutaminases (TGAs) catalyze the cross-linking of proteins through formation of gamma-glutaminyl-epsilon-lysine bonds and incorporation of small-molecular-weight amines, including polyamines, into the gamma-glutamine sites of proteins. Tissue TGA has been shown to establish covalent cross-links between cytoskeletal proteins using polyamines as substrates, and protein-polyamine conjugates have been identified in a variety of cells. We have shown previously that polyamines are required for cell migration in IEC-6 cells [S. A. McCormack, M. J. Viar, and L. R. Johnson. Am. J. Physiol. 264 (Gastrointest. Liver Physiol. 27): G367-G374, 1993]. In this study, we explored the relationship between cell migration, polyamines, and tissue TGA activity in two cell lines and found that while both IEC-6 and Caco-2 cells required normal levels of polyamines to migrate across a denuded surface, tissue TGA activity responded differently to polyamine deficiency brought about by treatment with alpha-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO). DFMO is a specific and irreversible inhibitor of ornithine decarboxylase, a rate-limiting enzyme of polyamine biosynthesis. In IEC-6 cells, tissue TGA activity decreased significantly with DFMO treatment concurrent with a rise in inactive TGA protein as measured by Western blot analysis. On the other hand, in Caco-2 cells, tissue TGA activity and protein increased significantly with DFMO treatment. In both cell lines, addition of polyamines to the DFMO treatment restored cell migration, tissue TGA activity, and protein to control levels.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

published proceedings

  • Am J Physiol

author list (cited authors)

  • McCormack, S. A., Wang, J. Y., Viar, M. J., Tague, L., Davies, P. J., & Johnson, L. R.

citation count

  • 25

complete list of authors

  • McCormack, SA||Wang, JY||Viar, MJ||Tague, L||Davies, PJ||Johnson, LR

publication date

  • September 1994