Cloning and characterization of the full lengthcDNA and promoter of mouse tissue transglutaminase

Margaret Marie Saydak, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Transglutaminases are a family of enzymes that catalyze the covalent cross-linking of proteins through the formation of $\varepsilon$-($\gamma$-glutaminyl)-lysyl isopeptide bonds. Tissue transglutaminase (Tgase) is an intracellular enzyme which is expressed in terminally differentiated and senescent cells and also in cells undergoing apoptotic cell death. To characterize this enzyme and examine its relationship with other members of the transglutaminase family, cDNAs, the first two exons of the gene and 2 kb of the 5$\sp\prime$ flanking region, including the promoter, were isolated. The full length Tgase transcript consists of 66 bp of 5$\sp\prime$-UTR (untranslated) sequence, an open reading frame which encodes 686 amino acids and 1400 bp of 3$\sp\prime$-UTR sequence. Alignment of the deduced Tgase protein sequence with that of other transglutaminases revealed regions of strong homology, particularly in the active site region. The Tgase cDNA was used to isolate and characterize a genomic clone encompassing the 5$\sp\prime$ end of the mouse Tgase gene. The transcription start site was defined using genomic and cDNA clones coupled with S1 protection analysis and anchored PCR. This clone includes 2.3 kb upstream of the transcription start site and two exons that contain the first 256 nucleotides of the mouse Tgase cDNA sequence. The exon intron boundaries have been mapped and compared with the exon intron boundaries of three members of the transglutaminase family: human factor XIIIa, the human keratinocyte transglutaminase and human erythrocyte band 4.1. Tissue Tgase exon II is similar to comparable exons of these genes. However, exon I bears no resemblance with any of the other transglutaminase amino terminus exons. Previous work in our laboratory has shown that the transcription of the Tgase gene is directly controlled by retinoic acid and retinoic acid receptors. To identify the region of the Tgase gene responsible for regulating its expression, fragments of the Tgase promoter and 5$\sp\prime$-flanking region were cloned into the chloramphenicol actetyl transferase (CAT) reporter constructs. Transient transfection experiments with these constructs demonstrated that the upstream region of Tgase is a functional promoter which contains a retinoid response element within a 1573 nucleotide region spanning nucleotides $-$252 to $-$1825.

Subject Area

Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

Saydak, Margaret Marie, "Cloning and characterization of the full lengthcDNA and promoter of mouse tissue transglutaminase" (1993). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9400113.