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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 Jan;1833(1):1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2012.10.011. Epub 2012 Oct 17.

Transglutaminase 2 facilitates or ameliorates HIF signaling and ischemic cell death depending on its conformation and localization.

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Department of Anesthesiology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA.


Transglutaminase 2 (TG2) is a widely expressed and multifunctional protein that modulates cell death/survival processes. We have previously shown that TG2 binds to hypoxia inducible factor 1β (HIF1β) and decreases the upregulation of HIF responsive genes; however, the relationship between these observations was not investigated. In this study, we investigated whether endogenous TG2 is sufficient to suppress HIF activity and whether the interaction between TG2 and HIF1β is required for this suppression. shRNA-mediated silencing of TG2 significantly enhanced HIF activation in response to hypoxia. In addition, nuclear localization of TG2 is required for its suppressive effect on HIF activity, with TG2 being recruited to HIF responsive promoters in hypoxic conditions. These observations suggest that TG2 directly regulates hypoxic transcriptional machinery; however, its interaction with HIF1β was not required for this regulation. We also examined whether TG2's effect on cell death/survival processes in ischemia is due to its effects on HIF signaling. Our results indicate that TG2 mediated HIF suppression can be separated from TG2's effect on cell survival in hypoxic/hypoglycemic conditions. Lastly, here we show that nuclear TG2 in the closed conformation and non-nuclear TG2 in the open conformation have opposing effects on hypoxic/hypoglycemic cell death, which could explain previous controversial results. Overall, our results further clarify the role of TG2 in mediating the cellular response to ischemia and suggest that manipulating the conformation of TG2 might be of pharmacological interest as a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of ischemia-related pathologies.

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