, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 599-614
Date: 03 Jul 2008

Transglutaminases and their substrates in biology and human diseases: 50 years of growing

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Abstract

Transglutaminase is an enzyme able to play more than one enzymatic action, acting on a variety of different substrates. The growth of knowledge about the members of the enzyme transglutaminase’s family and its substrates since the last 50 years indicates a large interest and curiosity about this protein, whose function and structure was, but still is, an important object of research. On the other hand, the involvement in a number of human diseases together with the lack of knowledge about the biological functions played by some of the most studied members of this family, make this enzyme a fascinating field of study. The history of this enzyme and its substrates, whose cross-linking action was reported for the first time 50 years ago, suggests that an effort to increase knowledge and communication among researchers is required. To achieve this important result, 10 years ago an internet web page called worldwide happening around transglutaminase (WHAT) was created. Driven by these experiences, novel points-of-view to look at Transglutaminase and its substrates may be identified.