Amino Acids

, Volume 45, Issue 4, pp 857–864 | Cite as

Histaminylation of fibrinogen by tissue transglutaminase-2 (TGM-2): potential role in modulating inflammation

  • Thung-S. LaiEmail author
  • Charles S. Greenberg
Original Article


Plasma fibrinogen plays an important role in hemostasis and inflammation. Fibrinogen is converted to fibrin to impede blood loss and serves as the provisional matrix that aids wound healing. Fibrinogen also binds to cytokine activated endothelial cells and promotes the binding and migration of leukocytes into tissues during inflammation. Tissue transglutaminase (TGM-2) released from injured cells could cross-link fibrinogen to form multivalent complexes that could promote adhesion of platelets and vascular cells to endothelium. Histamine released by mast cells is a potent biogenic amine that promotes inflammation. The covalent attachment of histamine to proteins (histaminylation) by TGM-2 could modify local inflammatory reactions. We investigated TGM-2 crosslinking of several biogenic amines (serotonin, histamine, dopamine and noradrenaline) to fibrinogen. We identified histaminylation of fibrinogen by TGM-2 as a preferred reaction in solid and solution phase transglutaminase assays. Histamine caused a concentration-dependent inhibition of fibrinogen cross-linking by TGM-2. Fibrinogen that was not TGM-2 crosslinked bound to un-activated endothelial cells with low affinity. However, the binding was increased by sevenfold when fibrinogen was cross-linked by TGM-2. Histaminylation of fibrinogen also inhibited TGM-2 crosslinking of fibrinogen and the binding to un-activated HUVEC cells by 75–90 %. In summary, the histaminylation of fibrinogen by TGM-2 could play a role in modifying inflammation by sequestering free histamine and by inhibiting TGM-2 crosslinking of fibrinogen.


Tissue transglutaminase Histaminylation Endothelial cell Histamine Fibrinogen Inflammation 



The authors would like to thank MUSC for the support. This research was funded in part by NIH grants HL072184 (CSG) and NS050541 (TSL). The technical assistance of Annemarie Nagle and Jeremy F. Freifeld is highly appreciated.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MedicineMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA
  2. 2.The Institute of Biomedical SciencesMackay Medical CollegeNew Taipei City 252Taiwan, ROC

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