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REVIEWS  7th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON TRANSGLUTAMINASES AND PROTEIN CROSSLINKING REACTIONS
Ferrara (Italy), September 14-17, 2002
 

Minerva Biotecnologica 2002 June;14(2):129-34

Copyright © 2003 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Transglutaminases of the lower organisms. Across the link between life and death

Mehta K. 1, Rao R. U. 2, Chandrashekar R. 3

1 M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, Houston, USA; 2 Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA; 3 Heska Corporation, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA


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Uni­cel­lu­lar and ­small mul­ti­cel­lu­lar organ­isms ­have remark­able abil­ity to pro­tect them­selves ­from envi­ron­men­tal and phys­io­log­ic chang­es and ­evolve to with­stand com­plex pat­terns of ­life. One impor­tant mech­a­nism by ­which ­they accom­plish ­this is the syn­the­siz­ing of rig­id and ­inert struc­tures ­around ­them. In gen­er­al, ­these struc­tures are high­ly ­stable and resist­ant to mechan­i­cal dis­rup­tion and chem­i­cal ­attacks. Bio­chem­i­cal­ly, ­they are com­posed of com­plex car­bo­hy­drates, ­such as chi­tin, and heav­i­ly cross­linked pro­tein aggre­gates. Trans­glu­ta­mi­nas­es (TGas­es) are a fam­i­ly of ­enzymes ­that cate­lyze pro­tein cross­link reac­tions by estab­lish­ing ε-(γ-glu­ta­myl)­lysine ­bonds ­that are resist­ant to reduc­ing ­agents, deter­gents, and chao­trop­ic ­agents. There­fore, it is like­ly ­that pro­tec­tive struc­tures syn­the­sized by the micro­or­gan­isms ­under cer­tain con­di­tions ­involve ­active par­tic­i­pa­tion of TGas­es. In ­this ­review, we brief­ly ­describe the cur­rent knowl­edge of non-mam­mal­ian TGas­es and ­their pos­sible ­role in ­growth, devel­op­ment, and sur­vi­val of ­these ­small organ­isms. Spe­cial ref­er­ence is ­made to nem­a­tode and bac­te­ri­al TGas­es, ­since ­they are the ­most ­well char­ac­ter­ized and stud­ied ­enzymes ­among non-mam­mal­ian ­TGasss.

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