Biochemical Journal

Research article

A novel function of tissue-type transglutaminase: protein disulphide isomerase

Go HASEGAWA, Motoi SUWA, Yasuo ICHIKAWA, Tetsuro OHTSUKA, Satoru KUMAGAI, Masashi KIKUCHI, Yoshitaka SATO, Yuji SAITO


We have found that tissue-type transglutaminase (tTG), also called TGc, TGase2 and Gαh, has the activity of protein disulphide isomerase (PDI). We have shown that tTG converts completely reduced/denatured inactive RNase A molecule to the native active enzyme. The PDI activity of tTG was strongly inhibited by bacitracin, which is a frequently used inhibitor of conventional PDI activity. It was substantially inhibited by the simultaneous presence of other potential substrate proteins such as completely reduced BSA, but not by native BSA. This activity was especially high in the presence of GSSG, but not GSH. The addition of GSH to the reaction mixture in the presence of GSSG at a fixed concentration up to at least 200-fold excess did not very substantially inhibit the PDI activity. It is possible that tTG can exert PDI activity in a fairly reducing environment like cytosol, where most of tTG is found. It is quite obvious from the following observations that PDI activity of tTG is catalysed by a domain different from that used for the transglutaminase reaction. Although the alkylation of Cys residues in tTG completely abolished the transglutaminase activity, as was expected, it did not affect the PDI activity at all. This PDI activity did not require the presence of Ca2+. It was not inhibited by nucleotides including GTP at all, unlike the other activity of tTG.

  • cytosol
  • disulphide
  • glutathione
  • nucleotide
  • ribonuclease A


  • Abbreviations used: tTG, tissue-type transglutaminase; PDI, protein disulphide isomerase; TGase, transglutaminase; rdRNase, reduced RNase; rdBSA, reduced BSA; ER, endoplasmic reticulum; DTT, dithiothreitol; IAA, iodoacetamide; DTNB, 5,5′-dithiobis(2-nitrobenzoic acid); PLC, phospholipase C.