Professor Martin Griffin

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research

Professor in Biochemistry

School of Life & Health Sciences 
Aston University
Aston Triangle
Birmingham B4 7ET

Email: m.griffin@aston.ac.uk

Research Theme

Cellular and Molecular Biomedicine 

Research Centre

Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing (ARCHA)  

Martin Griffin

For over thirty years, Professor Griffin's major research area has been geared towards understanding the biochemistry, molecular biology and physiology of a group of enzymes referred to as transglutaminases.  This group of enzymes is commonly referred to as “protein biological glues” since it can crosslink proteins into stable, high molecular weight structures such as those found in skin, in fibrin cross linking during blood coagulation and in hair. 

Focus has been mostly on the tissue transglutaminase (TG2), and in particular, the importance of this enzyme in cell death, matrix deposition and cell adhesion and the relationship of these functions to wound healing, tissue fibrosis and scarring, tumour progression and cystic fibrosis.

Recent work has also been concerned with the use of transglutaminases in the bioengineering of natural polymers for the development of novel biomaterials used in soft (eg: diabetic ulcers and pressure sores) and hard (eg: bone) tissue repair.

  • President of the European Association for Higher Education in Biotechnology.
  • Fellow of the Institute of Biology.
  • Evaluator for the National Research Foundation of South Africa.
  • EPSRC Peer Review College Member.
  • Previous Panel Member of RAE 2008. 
  • Cross-linking of cellular proteins by tissue transglutaminase during necrotic cell death: a mechanism for maintaining tissue integrity (2003).
    B Nicholas, P Smethurst, E Verderio, R Jones and M Griffin
    Biochem J
  • Transglutaminase and the progression of Human Renal Scarring (2003).
    TS Johnson, AF El-Koraie, NJ Skill, NM Baddour, AM El-Nahas, M Njloma, AG Adam and M Griffin. 
    J Am Soc Neph
    14: 2052-2062.
  • The importance of tissue transglutaminase in repair of extracellular matrices and cell death of dermal fibroblasts after exposure to a solarium UVA source (2003).
    S Gross, Z Balklava and M Griffin. 
    J Invest Dermat
     121, 412-423.
  • A novel RGD-independent cell adhesion pathway mediated by fibronectin bound tissue transglutaminase rescues cells from anoikis (2003).
    E Verderio, D Telci, A Okaye, G Meline and M Griffin. 
    J Biol Chem
     278: 42604–42614.
  • Activation of ERK1/2, JNK and PKB by hydrogen peroxide in human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells: role of ERK1/2 in H2O2-induced cell death (2003).
    J Ruffles, M Griffin and J Dickenson. 
    Eur J Pharmaco
    . 483, 163-173.
  • Novel approach to improving enzyme penetration (2003).
    K Senior, M Griffin, R Collighan. 
    BLC Journal 
    Vol:46 Nov.
  • Transglutaminases in the leather industry.
    R Collighan & M Griffin. 
    BLC Journal 
    Vol: 46 Jan.
  • Transglutaminases as tanning agents for the leather industry (2004). 
    RJ Collighan, S Clara, X Li, J Parry and M Griffin. 
    J Am Leather Chemists Ass
     99, 289-298.
  • Application of transglutaminases in the modification of wool textiles (2004).
    J Cortez, PR Bonner and M Griffin. 
    Enzyme and Microbial Technology
     34, 64-72.
  • Tissue transglutaminase: a mediator and predictor of chronic allograft Nephropathy (2004).
    TS Johnson, Hamby Abo-Zenah, J Skill, S Bex, G Wild, CB Brown. M Griffin and AM El- Nahas. 
     7 (ii), 1667-1675.
  • An improved colorimetric assay for the measurement of transglutaminase (type II) ε(γ-glutamyl) lysine cross-linking activity SM Trigwell (2004).
    PT Lynch, M Griffin, AJ Hargreaves and PLR Bonner. 
    Analytical Biochemistry
  • Elevated epsilon (gamma –glutamyl) lysine in human diabetic nephropathy results from increased expression and cellular release of tissue transglutaminase (2004).
    AM El-Nahas, M Abo-Zenah, NJ Skill, S Bex, G Wild, M Griffin, TS Johnson. 
    Nephron Clinical Pract
  • Enzymatic stabilisation of Gelatin Based Scaffolds (2004).
    EM Broderic, DMO Halloran, YA Rotchev, M Griffin, RJ Collighan, AS Pandit. 
    J Biomedical Materials, Research
     72b 1:37-42.
  • Role of transglutaminase 1 in stabilisation of intercellular junctions of the vascular endothelium (2004).
    W Baumgartner, N Golenhofen, A Weth, T Hiiragi, R Saint, M Griffin and D Drenckhahn. 
    Histochem Cell Biol
     122, 17-25.
  • Actvation of protein kinase B by adenosine A1 and A3 receptors in newborn rat cardiomyocytes (2004).
    R Germack, M Griffin, JM Dickenson. 
    J Mol and Cellular
     Cardiology 37,989-999.
  • Inhibition of transglutaminase activity reduces extracellular matrix accumulation induced by high glucose levels in proximal tubule cells (2004).
    NJ Skill, TS Johnson, IGM Fisher, L Huang, IGC Coutts, RE Saint, AM El-Nahas, RJ Collighan, M.Griffin
    J Biol Chem
     279, 47754-47762.
  • Novel Method for stabilising gelatine based scaffolds (2004).
    D O’Halloran, Y Garcia, E Broderick, Y Rotchev, M Griffin, R Collighan and A Pandit. 
    Proceedings of the 10th Annual Conference of the Section of Bioengineering, 
    RA of Medicine in Ireland (Ed- DP Fitzpatrick,BAO McCormack & TM McGloughlin).
  • Activation of protein kinase B by adenosine A1 and A3 receptors in newborn rat cardiomyocytes (2004).
    R. Germack, M. Griffin, J.M. Dickenson. 
    J Mol Cell
     Cardiol. Nov;37(5):989-99.
  • Transglutaminase treatment of wool fabrics leads to resistance to detergent damage (2005).
    J. Cortez, P.L. Bonner, M. Griffin
    J Biotechnol.
     Apr 6;116(4):379-86.
  • The cellular response to transglutaminase-cross-linked collagen (2005).
    D.Y. Chau, R.J. Collighan, E.A. Verderio, V.L. Addy, M. Griffin
  • Scaffold characterisation for nucleus pulposus regeneration (2005).
    D. O'Halloran, M. White, R.J. Collighan, M. Griffin, & A.S. Pandit. 
    European Cells and
     Material10 (Suppl. 3):9.
  • Unexpected role of surface transglutaminase type II in celiac disease (2005).
    L Maiuri, C Ciacci, I Ricciardelli, L Vacca, V Raia, A Rispo, M Griffin, T Issekutz, S Quaratino, M Londei.
    Gastroenterology 129(5):1400-1413.
  • Matrix changes induced by transglutaminase 2 lead to inhibition of angiogenesis and tumor growth (2006).
    R.A. Jones, P. Kotsakis, T.S. Johnson, D.Y. Chau, S. Ali, G. Melino, M. Griffin. 
    Cell Death Differ
    . Sep;13(9):1442-53.
  • Collagen: structure and modification for biomedical applications (2006)
    DYS Chau, RJ Collighan, M Griffin. 
    Trends in Biomaterials research 
    Ed Patrick J Pannone Nova Publishers (in press).
  • The role of tissue transglutaminase in 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+)-induced toxicity in differentiated human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma Cells (2006).
    K.E. Beck, L.A. De Girolamo, M. Griffin, E.E. Billett. 
    Neurosci Lett. Sep 11
  • Characterisation of a microbial transglutaminase cross-linked type II collagen scaffold (2006). 
    D. O'Halloran, R.J. Collighan, M. Griffin, & A.S. Pandit. 
    Tissue Engineering
     12 (6):1467-1474.
  • Transglutaminase inhibition ameliorates tissue scarring and fibrosis : experience in a kidney model (2007).
    TS Johnson, M Fisher, JL Haylor, Z Hau, NJ Skill, R Jones, R Saint, I Coutts, AM El Nahas, M Griffin. 
    J American Society Nephrology (
    in press).
  • Transglutaminase mediated grafting of silk proteins onto wool fabrics leading to improved physical and mechanical properties (2007).
    J Cortez, A Anghieri, PLR Bonner M Griffin, G Freddi.
    Enzyme and Microbial Technology 40 (7)1698-1704 Sp Iss SI.
  • Assessment of cell viability in a three-dimensional enzymatically cross-linked collagen scaffold (2007).
    Y Garcia, R Collighan, M Griffin, A S Pandit. 
    Journal of Materials Science : Materials in Medicine 
    18 (10) 1991-2001
  • Tissue tranglutaminase and the stress response (2007) 
    Ientile R, Caccamo D, Griffin M. 
    Amino Acids., 33(2):373-84.
  • Tissue transglutaminase in tumour progression: friend or foe? (2007)
    Kotsakis P, Griffin M
    Amino Acids33(2):373-84.
  • Collagen: structure and modification for biomatierials applications. (2007)
    Chau DYS, Collighan RJ, Griffin M
    Trends in Biomatierials Research. Ed. Patrick J Pannone (Nova Publishers).
  • Tethering a laminin peptide to a cross-linked collagen scaffold for biofunctionality (2008). 
    Damodaran G, Collighan R, Griffin M, Pandit A. 
    Journal of Biomedical Matierials Research Part A (Epub ahead of print). DOI:10.1002/jmb.a.32045. 
  • Towards development of a dermal rudiment for enhanced wound healing response (2008). 
    Garcia Y, Wilkins B, Collighan RJ, Griffin M, Pandit A. 
    Biomatierials 29(7):857-868.
  • Transglutaminase inhibition ameliorates tissue scarring and fibrosis: experience in a kidney model. (2008) 
    Johnson TS, Fisher M, Haylor JL, Hau Z, Skill NJ, Jones R, Saint R, Coutts I, El Nahas AM, Griffin M
    J American Society 14(8),2052-2062.
  • Fibronectin-tissue transglutaminase matrix rescues RGD-impaired cell adhesion through Syndecan 4 and Beta 1 integrin co-signaling. (2008)
    Telci D et al, Griffin M
    J Biol Chem 283(30):20937-20947.
  • In-vitro characterization of a collagen scaffold enzymatically crosslinked with a tailored elastin-like polymer (2008). 
    Garcia Y, Hemantkumar N, Collighan R, Griffin M, Pandit A. 
    Published online DOI: 10.1089/ten.tea2008.0104. 
    Tissue Engineering. 
  • Synthesis of portent water soluble tissue transglutaminase inhibitors (2008). 
    Griffin M, Mongeot A, Collighan R, Saint RE, Jones RA, Coutts IGC, Rathbone DL. 
    Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett18, 5559-5562.
  • Transglutaminase 2 cross-linking of matrix proteins - biological significance and medical applications (2009). 
    Collighan R, Griffin M
    Amino Acids36(4), 659-670.
  • Modulation of TG2 in tubular epithelial cells alters extracellular matrix levels: a potential mechanism of tissue scarring (2009). 
    Fischer M et al, Griffin M, Johnson TS. 
    Matrix Biology 28(1),28,20-31.
  • Tailored laminin-332 alpha 3 sequence is tethered through an enzymatic linker to a collagen scaffold to promote cellular adhesion (2009). 
    DamodaranG , Collighan R, Griffin M, Navsaria H, Pandit A
    Acta. Biomaterials. 7: 2441-2450.
  • Transglutaminase inhibition ameliorates experimental diabetic nephropathy (2009). 
    Huang LH, Haylor JL, Hau Z, Jones RA,Vickers ME, Wagner B, Griffin M, Saint RE, Coutts IGC El Nahas AM, Johnson TS, 
    Kidney Int. 76: 383-394.
  • In Vitro Characterization of a Collagen Scaffold Enzymatically Cross-Linked with a Tailored Elastin-like Polymer (2009)
    Garcia Y, Hemantkumar N, Collighan R, Griffin M, Pandit A, 
    Tissue Engineering. Part A. 15: 887-899.
  • Increased TG2 expression can result in induction of TGFβ1 causing increased synthesis and deposition of matrix proteins which can be regulated by nitric oxide (2009)
    Telci D, Collighan R, Basaga H, Griffin M. 
    J. Biol. Chem. 284:29547-29558.
  • Celiac disease IgA modulates vascular permeability in vitro through the activity of transglutaminase 2 and RhoA (2009)
    Myrsky E, Caja S, Simon-Vecsei Z, Korponay-Szabo IR, Nadalutti C, Collighan R, Mongeot A, Griffin M, Mäki M, Kaukinen K, Lindfors K. 
    Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 66: 3375-3385.
  • Inhibition of trasnglutaminase 2 enzymatic activity ameliorates the anti-angiogenic effects of coelica autoantibodies (2010)
    Caja S, Myrsky E, Korponay-Szabo IR, Nadalutti C, Sulic AM, Lavric M, Sblattero D, Marzari R, Collighan R, Mongeot A,  Griffin M, Maki M, Kaukinen K, Lindfors K. 
    Scand. J. Gastroenterol. 45: 421-427.
  • Thermodynamics of binding of regulatory ligands to tissue transglutaminase (2010)
    Bergamini CM, Dondi A, Lanzara V, Squerzanti M, Cervellati C, Montin K, Mischiati C, Tasco G, Collighan R, Griffin M,  Casadio R. 
    Amino Acids. 39: 297-304.
  • An extracellular transglutaminase is required for apple pollen tube growth (2010)
    Di Sandro A, Del Duca S, Verderio E, Hargreaves AJ, Scarpellini A, Cai G, Cresti M, Faleri C, Iorio RA, Hirose S, Furutani Y, Coutts IG, Griffin M, Bonner PL, Serafini-Fracassini D. 
    Biochem. J. 429: 261-271.
  • The visualisation of vitreous using surface modified poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) microparticles (2010)
    Chau DY, Tint NL, Collighan R, Griffin M, Dua HS, Shakesheff KM, Rose FR. 
    Br. J. Ophthalomol. 94: 648-653.
  • Do changes in transglutaminase activity alter latent transforming growth factor beta activation in experimental diabetic nephropathy? (2010)
    Huang L, Haylor JL, Fisher M, Hau Z, El Nahas AM, Griffin M, Johnson.TS. 
    Nephrol. Dial. Transplant76: 383-394.
  • Model thrombi formed under flow reveal the role of factor XIII-mediated cross-linking in resistance to fibrinolysis (2010)
    Mutch NJ, Koikkalainen JS, Fraser SR, Duthie KM, Griffin M, Mitchell J, Watson HG, Booth NA. 
    J. Thromb. Haemost8:2017-2024.
  • Targeted delivery of a novel group of site directed transglutaminase inhibitors to the liver using liposomes: a new approach for the potential treatment of liver fibrosis (2011)
    Daneshpour N, Griffin M, Collighan R, Perrie Y.J. 
    Journal of Drug Targeting 19:624-631. 
  • Importance of syndecan-4 and syndecan -2 in osteoblast cell adhesion and survival mediated by a Tissue Transglutaminase-Fibronectin complex (2011)
    Z. Wang, D. Telci, M. Griffin 
    Exp. Cell Res. 317:367-381.
  • The role of tissue transglutaminase (TG2) in regulating the tumour progression of the mouse colon carcinoma CT26 (2010)
    Kotsakis P, Wang Z, Collighan R, Griffin M.   
    Amino Acids. 41:909-9211.
  • RGD-independent cell adhesion via a tissue transglutaminase-fibronectin matrix promotes fibronectin fibril deposition and requires syndecan-4/2 and α5β1 integrin co-signalling (2010)
    Wang Z, Collighan R, Gross SR, Danen EHJ, Orend G, Telci D, Griffin M.   
    J. Biol. Chem. 285:40212-40229.
  • Epithelial transport and deamidation of gliadin peptides: a role for coeliac disease patient immunoglobulin A (2011)
    Rauhavirta T, Qiao SW, Jiang Z, Myrsky E, Loponen J, Korponay-Szabó IR, Salovaara H, Garcia-Horsman JA, Venäläinen J, Männistö PT, Collighan R, Mongeot A, Griffin M, Mäki M, Kaukinen K, Lindfors K.   
    Clin. Exp. Immunol. 164:127-136.
  • Transglutaminase 2 null macrophages respond to lipopolysaccharide stimulation by elevated proinflammatory cytokine production due to an enhanced αvβ3 integrin-induced Src tyrosine kinase signaling (2011)
    Z. Sarang, et al, M. Griffin, et al., and Z. Szondy. 
    Immunol. Lett. 138:71-78.
  • Transglutaminase 2 interaction with small heat shock proteins mediate cell survival upon excitotoxic stress (2011)
    Caccamo D, Condello S, Ferlazzo N, Currò M, Griffin M, Ientile R.   
    Amino Acids [in press]
  • The role of TG2 in ECV304-related vasculogenic mimicry (2012)
    Jones R, Wang Z, Dookie S, Griffin M.   
    Amino Acids 44:89-101
  • Characterization of the heparin binding site of tissue transglutaminase: its importance in the enzyme’s cell surface targeting, matrix deposition and cell signalling (2012)
    Wang Z, Collighan RJ, Pytel K, Rathbone DL, Li X, Griffin M.   
    J. Biol. Chem 287:13063-13083
  • Interactions Among Secretory Immunoglobulin A, CD71, and Transglutaminase-2 Affect Permeability of Intestinal Epithelial Cells to Gliadin Peptides (2012).
    C. Lebreton, et al, M. Griffin, M. Heyman. 
    Gastroenterology 143:698-707 
  • Indwelling catheters and medical implants with FXIIIa inhibitors; a novel approach to the treatment of catheter and medical device-related infections (2013).
    N. Daneshpour, et al, M. Griffin.
    Eur J. Pharm. Biopharm. 83:106-113
  • Are Transglutaminase 2 Inhibitors Able to Reduce Gliadin-Induced Toxicity Related to Celiac Disease? A Proof-of-Concept Study (2013).
    T. Rauhavirta, et al., M. Griffin, et al., K. Lindfors.
    J. Clin. Immunol. 33:134-142
  • Transglutaminase 2 interaction with small heat shock proteins mediate cell survival upon excitotoxic stress (2013). 
    D. Caccamo, et al., Griffin M, and R. Lentile.
    Amino Acids. 44:151-159.
  • Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide type 1 receptor (PAC1) gene is suppressed by transglutaminase 2 activation.  
    A. Miura, et al, M. Griffin, et al. (2013) 
    J Biol Chem. [Epub ahead of print]
  • A novel extracellular role for tissue transglutaminase in matrix-bound VEGF-mediated angiogenesis.  
    Z. Wang, et al, M. Griffin (2013)
    Cell Death and Disease. 4:e808. 
  • Damodaran, G, Tiong, WHC, Collighan, R, Navsaria, H, Griffin, M & Pandit, A 2013, 'In vivo effects of tailored laminin-332 α3 conjugated scaffolds enhances wound healing: A histomorphometric analysis' Journal of biomedical materials research: part A, vol Early view. 
  • Thioredoxin is involved in endothelial cell extracellular transglutaminase 2 activation mediated by celiac disease patient IgA. (2013) 
    C.A. Nadalutti, et al, M. Griffin, et al.  
    PLOS ONE. [In press].
  • Wang, Z & Griffin, M 2013, 'The role of TG2 in regulating S100A4-mediated mammary tumour cell migration' PLoS ONE, vol 8, no. 3, e57017. 
  • Celiac disease patient IgA antibodies induce endothelial adhesion and cell polarization defects via extracellular transglutaminase 2. (2013)  
    C.A. Nadalutti, et al, M. Griffin, et al. 
    Cell Mol Life Sci. [Epub ahead of print]. 
  • Badarau, E, Mongeot, A, Collighan, R, Rathbone, D & Griffin, M 2013, 'Imidazolium-based warheads strongly influence activity of water-soluble peptidic transglutaminase inhibitor' European journal of medicinal chemistry, vol 66, pp. 526-530.
  • Kalliokoski, S, Sulic, A-M, Korponay-Szabó, IR, Szondy, Z, Frias, R, Perez, MA, Martucciello, S, Roivainen, A, Pelliniemi, LJ, Esposito, C, Griffin, M, Sblattero, D, Mäki, M, Kaukinen, K, Lindfors, K & Caja, S 2013, 'Celiac disease-specific TG2-targeted autoantibodies inhibit angiogenesis ex vivo and in vivo in mice by interfering with endothelial cell dynamics' PLoS ONE, vol 8, no. 6, e65887. 
  • Inhibition of collagen I accumulation reduces glomerulosclerosis by a Hic-5- dependent mechanism in experimental diabetic nephropathy. (2013)  
    N. Hornigold, et al, M. Griffin. 
    Lab Invest. [Epub ahead of print].
  • European Doctorate in Biotechnology:added value for European Academia and Industry(2004)
    CFA Bryce, J Aghion, P Bos, F Celada, M Griffin, R Hull,. 
    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education 
    32 352-357
Structure and Regulation of Type 2 transglutaminase in relation to its physiological functions and pathological roles (2010).

C.M. Bergamini, R. Collighan, Z. Wang, M. Griffin.
Adv. Enzymology 78:1-46

TG2, a novel extracellular protein with multiple functions (2013).
Z. Wang, and M. Griffin.
Amino Acids 42:939-949

Recent advances in the development of tissue transglutaminase (TG2) inhibitors (2013).
E. Badarau, R.J. Collighan, and M. Griffin.
Amino Acids 44:119-127

Transglutaminase 2 cross-linking of matrix proteins - biological significance and medical applications (2009). 
Collighan R, Griffin M
Amino Acids36(4), 659-670.

Tissue transglutaminase in tumour progression : friend or foe? (2007) .
P Kotsakis , M Griffin.
Amino Acids 33 (2) 373-384.

Tissue tranglutaminase and the stress response (2007). 
R Ientile, D Caccamo, M Griffin
Amino Acids 33 (2) 385-394

Tissue transglutaminase (TG2) – a wound response enzyme (2006).
D Telci, M Griffin.
Frontiers in Bioscience 11 867-882.

5. Transglutaminases in wound healing and inflammation (2005).
M Griffin T Johnson and E Verderio.
Invited chapter for monograph on “Transglutaminase family of enzymes in series Progress in Experimental and Tumor Research. Karger Group of Publishers, vol 38, pp89-114.

Transglutaminase and vascular biology: Physiopathologic implications and perspectives for therapeutic interventions (2005).
CM Bergamini, M Griffin, FS Pansini.
Current Medicinal Chemistry 12(20):2357-2372.

Tissue transglutaminase in normal and abnormal wound healing (2004).
E Verderio T Johnson M Griffin
Amino Acids, 26:387-404.

Transglutaminases: their commercial applications and potential use in the leather industry (2003).
R Collighan and M Griffin. 
British Leather Technology J, 46:2-6.

Transglutaminases, Nature’s biological Glues (2004).
M Griffin, R Casadio and CM Bergamini.
Biochem .J Reviews, 368:377-396.

Biotechnological applications of transglutaminases (2002)
 R Collighan, J Cortez and M Griffin
Minerva Biotechnologica, 14:143-148.

Tissue transglutaminase in cell death (2000). 
M Griffin and E Verderio.
In Programmed Cell Death in Animals and Plants. Ed. JA Bryant, SG Hughes. and JM Garland. Bios Scientific Pubs, pp223-240.

Prof Martin Griffin / Aston University / last updated Oct 2013

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research