Celiac.com 03/06/2009 - A report in the February 3rd issue of Digestive and Liver Disease highlights the present understanding of transglutaminase function in gastrointestinal and liver diseases and therapeutic strategies that target transglutaminase activities.

A team of American and Italian researchers recently set out to review the current body of literature regarding transglutaminase function in gastrointestinal and liver diseases and therapeutic strategies that target transglutaminase activities. The research team was made up of doctors L. Elli, C.M. Bergamini, C.M. Bardella, and D. Schuppan.

They are associated with one or more of the following: Center for Prevention and Diagnosis of Celiac Disease, Fondazione IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Mangiagalli e Regina Elena, in Milan, Italy; the Department of Biochemistry, University of Ferrara, Via Luigi Borsari, Ferrara, Italy; the Department of Medical Sciences, University of Milan, Italy; and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.

Their report in the February issue of Digestive and Liver Disease highlights the present understanding of transglutaminase function in gastrointestinal and liver diseases and therapeutic strategies that target transglutaminase activities.

Transglutaminases are a group of eight presently recognized calcium-dependent enzymes that act as catalysts to cross-link or deamidate proteins. They play a role in key biological functions such as the healing of wounds, the repair of damaged tissue, fibro-genesis, apoptosis, inflammation and management of the cell cycle. Thus, they play a role in numerous key patho-mechanisms of autoimmune, inflammatory and degenerative diseases, a number of which involve the gastrointestinal system.

Transglutaminase 2 is of central importance, as it is crucial to the pathogenesis of celiac disease, and influences inflammation and fibro-genesis in inflammatory bowel and chronic liver disease.

The recent review has implications for celiac disease, collagen, Crohn's disease, extra-cellular matrix, gliadin, inflammatory bowel disease; NFkB, and ulcerative colitis.

Dig Liver Dis. 2009 Feb 3.

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