What Are Anti-tissue Transglutaminase Antibodies?
Anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies (anti-tTG) are connective tissue autoantibodies and can be detected in blood samples from affected persons who are reacting to gluten in the diet.
Autoantibodies are abnormal because they attack the body’s own tissue, which in the case of these antibodies is tissue transglutaminase 2 (TG2).
Q: What is tissue transglutaminase 2 (TG2)?
A: Tissue transglutaminase 2 (TG2) is an enzyme that appears in many cell locations and is particularly abundant in endothelial cells that line the small intestine. It has been implicated in a variety of cellular processes, such as differentiation, cell death, inflammation, cell migration and wound healing.
The cell appears to adapt the dynamics of this enzyme to meet specific sub-cellular needs or to respond to stress or other stimuli. Substantial evidence indicates that the location of TG2 within cells is critical for the regulation of its various biochemical activities, which subsequently trigger diverse downstream events,1
Although initially studied as an enzyme within cells, TG2 is now known to be secreted also into the extracellular space (between cells) or onto the cell surface.1
Abnormal activation of TG2 or deregulation of its function(s) is involved in a variety of human diseases, such as celiac disease, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. A role in inflammatory disorders and septic shock has also been shown. Moreover, multiple studies have revealed elevated TG2 expression in many types of cancer cells.1
What Are Anti-tissue Transglutaminase Antibodies In Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Sensitivity?
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- Piacentini M, D’Eletto M, Farrace MG, Rodolfo C, Del Nonno F, Ippolito G, Falasca L. Characterization of distinct sub-cellular location of transglutaminase type II: changes in intracellular distribution in physiological and pathological states. Cell Tissue Res. 2014 Dec;358(3):793-805. doi: 10.1007/s00441-014-1990-x.