Transglutaminase 3 crosslinks the secreted gel-forming mucus component Mucin-2 and stabilizes the colonic mucus layer

Jack D. A. Sharpen, Brendan Dolan, Elisabeth E. L. Nyström, George M. H. Birchenough, Liisa Arike, Beatriz Martinez-Abad, Malin E. V. Johansson, Gunnar C. Hansson, Christian V. Recktenwald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The colonic mucus layer is organized as a two-layered system providing a physical barrier against pathogens and simultaneously harboring the commensal flora. The factors contributing to the organization of this gel network are not well understood. In this study, the impact of transglutaminase activity on this architecture was analyzed. Here, we show that transglutaminase TGM3 is the major transglutaminase-isoform expressed and synthesized in the colon. Furthermore, intrinsic extracellular transglutaminase activity in the secreted mucus was demonstrated in vitro and ex vivo. Absence of this acyl-transferase activity resulted in faster degradation of the major mucus component the MUC2 mucin and changed the biochemical properties of mucus. Finally, TGM3-deficient mice showed an early increased susceptibility to Dextran Sodium Sulfate-induced colitis. Here, we report that natural isopeptide cross-linking by TGM3 is important for mucus homeostasis and protection of the colon from inflammation, reducing the risk of colitis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number45
JournalNature Communications
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Animals
  • Colitis/etiology
  • Colon/metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mucin-2/metabolism
  • Mucus/metabolism
  • Transglutaminases/metabolism

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