Scientific reports

Mechanistic role of transglutaminase-2 in focal adhesions.

PMID 30120307


Transglutaminase (TG)-2 interacts with matrix proteins and integrins, forming focal adhesions (FA) to initiate cell migration, thus playing a vital role in wound healing. Previously we showed that TG-2 influenced phosphorylation of paxillin and other FA proteins. Here, we aimed to investigate the molecular mechanism of TG-2 regulation of paxillin. Human corneal epithelial cells expressing shRNA against TG-2 (shTG) and scrambled sequence control (shRNA) were cultured. TG-2 was pulled down by anti-paxillin antibody, but not MAP3K12. Cell-free interaction assay with immobilized paxillin shows that TG-2 bind to paxillin directly. JNK was the strongest kinase for paxillin phosphorylation in the in-vitro kinase screen, but TG-2 could not phosphorylate paxillin directly. Increasing TG-2 concentrations did not increase the amount of JNK in the TG-2/paxillin complex. Immunofluoresent staining shows that TG-2 colocalises with vinculin and paxillin in FA of migrating cells. TG-2 binds to paxillin and JNK-containing FA but does not recruit JNK directly. Taken together with previous findings, TG-2 binds paxillin non-covalently, and JNK can phosphorylate paxillin, these processes critically regulate corneal epithelial adhesion and migration.