Astrocyte-derived tissue transglutaminase interacts with fibronectin: a role in astrocyte adhesion and migration?

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An important neuropathological feature of neuroinflammatory processes that occur during e.g. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is the formation of an astroglial scar. Astroglial scar formation is facilitated by the interaction between astrocytes and extracellular matrix proteins (ECM) such as fibronectin. Since there is evidence indicating that glial scars strongly inhibit both axon growth and (re)myelination in brain lesions, it is important to understand the factors that contribute to the interaction between astrocytes and ECM proteins. Tissue Transglutaminase (TG2) is a multifunctional enzyme with an ubiquitous tissue distribution, being clearly present within the brain. It has been shown that inflammatory cytokines can enhance TG2 activity. In addition, TG2 can mediate cell adhesion and migration and it binds fibronectin with high affinity. We therefore hypothesized that TG2 is involved in astrocyte-fibronectin interactions. Our studies using primary rat astrocytes show that intracellular and cell surface expression and activity of TG2 is increased after treatment with pro-inflammatory cytokines. Astrocyte-derived TG2 interacts with fibronectin and is involved in astrocyte adhesion onto and migration across fibronectin. TG2 is involved in stimulating focal adhesion formation which is necessary for the interaction of astrocytes with ECM proteins. We conclude that astrocyte-derived TG2 contributes to the interaction between astrocytes and fibronectin. It might thereby regulate ECM remodeling and possibly glial scarring.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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