Reduced expression of tissue transglutaminase in a human endothelial cell line leads to changes in cell spreading, cell adhesion and reduced polymerisation of fibronectin.
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Tissue transglutaminase (tTgase, type II) is a Ca2+-dependent GTP binding protein which crosslinks proteins via (epsilon)((gamma)-glutamyl)lysine bridges. Although essentially a cytosolic enzyme there is increasing evidence to suggest the enzyme is externalised where it may play a role in extracellular matrix organisation. To investigate the function of this enzyme in a human umbilical endothelial cell line ECV304 tTgase expression was reduced in these cells by up to 90% by stable transfection with a 1.1. kb antisense construct in the plasmid vector pSG5. Two clones showing a reduction in expression of tTgase activity of 70 and 90% have been isolated and characterised. These clones show a number of phenotypic differences when compared to the parent cell line and the transfected controls which include reduced cell spreading and a decreased adhesion of cells on different substrata as measured by their susceptibility to removal by trypsin. Reduced cell spreading in the antisense transfected clones was accompanied by a decrease in the crosslinking of fibronectin into polymeric multimers which could be correlated to the amount of tTgase externalised by cells. A novel assay was developed to measure externalised tTgase activity which is cell mediated, inhibited by preincubation of cells with anti-tTgase antibody and relies on the incorporation of biotinylated cadaverine into fibronectin. The results of these experiments suggest that externalised tTgase may play a key role in a number of cell behavioural patterns which might be related to the enzymes ability to bind and crosslink fibronectin.
author list (cited authors)
Jones, R. A., Nicholas, B., Mian, S., Davies, P. J., & Griffin, M.