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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2006 Sep;47(9):3835-45.

Potential role of tissue transglutaminase in glaucoma filtering surgery.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany.



Scarring of the filtering bleb site is the main cause of failure in glaucoma filtration surgery. In the present study, the role of tissue transglutaminase (tTgase) in the accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins in these scars was investigated. Transglutaminases are enzymes capable of cross-linking ECM proteins to proteolysis-resistant complexes.


Expression of tTgase, its reaction product epsilon-(gamma-glutamyl)-lysine, and fibronectin and their colocalization were investigated immunohistochemically in failed blebs and in an in vitro trabeculectomy model. Failed blebs were analyzed by RT-PCR for the presence of tTgase mRNA. Human Tenon fibroblasts (HTFs) were treated with transforming growth factor-beta2 (TGF-beta2). The effect was studied with immunohistochemistry, Northern blot analysis, and Western blot analysis. tTgase activity was assayed by incorporation of biotinylated cadaverine into fibronectin.


Expression of tTgase and epsilon-(gamma-glutamyl)-lysine was present in all failed blebs. Staining was most prominent at the rim of the Tenon cyst. In the in vitro trabeculectomy model, tTgase and epsilon-(gamma-glutamyl)-lysine were barely present at the incision side of the flap but were perspicuously increased by TGF-beta2 treatment. Enzyme and its reaction product were colocalized with fibronectin. Cultured HTFs contained a basal level of tTgase mRNA. After treatment with TGF-beta2, expression and activity of tTgase significantly increased.


The findings demonstrated that tTgase is present and functionally active in failed blebs. Expression and activity of tTgase appeared to be stimulated by TGF-beta2, a growth factor known to be increased in primary open angle glaucoma. Intervention at this pathway might open a new approach to prevent scarring after glaucoma filtration surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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