Professor Martin Griffin

Professor in Biochemistry

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

Email: m.griffin@aston.ac.uk

Research Group

Cell & Tissue Biomedical Research 

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. 

  • 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.
  • The role of tissue transglutaminase in 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+)-induced toxicity in differentiated human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells (2006).
    KE Beck, LA De Girolamo, M Griffin and EE Billett.
    Neurosci. Lett. 405: 46-51.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Transglutaminase inhibition ameliorates tissue scarring and fibrosis : experience in a kidney model (2008.
    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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Transglutaminase 2 is involved in autophagosome maturation (2009).
    M Deketto, et al, M Griffin, GM Fimia and M Piacentini.
    Autophagy. 5: 1145-1154. 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Recent advances in the development of tissue transglutaminase (TG2) inhibitors. (2011).
    E Badarau, R. Collighan and M Griffin.
    Amino Acids. [In press]. 
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • Celiac disease-specific TG2-targeted autoantibodies inhibit angiogenesis ex vivo and in vivo in mice by interfering with endothelial cell dynamics (2013).
    S Kalliokoski, A-M Sulic, IR Korponay-Szabò,  Z Szondy, R Frias, MA Perez, S Martucciello, A Roivainen, LJ Pelliniemi, C Esposito, M Griffin, D Sblattero, M Mäki, K Kaukinen, K Lindfors and S Caja.
    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. and A Mooney
    Lab Invest. 
  • The role of TG2 in regulating S100A4-mediated mammary tumour cell migration (2013).
    Z Wang and M Griffin.
    PLOS ONE.  Vol 8: No 3, e57017.
  • In vivo effects of tailored laminin-332 α3 conjugated scaffolds enhances wound healing:  A histomorphometric analysis (2013).
    G Damodaran , et al, M Griffin , et al, and AS Pandit.
    J. Biomed. Mater. Res. A. [In press].
  • 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]. 
  • 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. 
  • 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]
  • 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].
  • Imidazolium-based warheads strongly influence activity of water-soluble peptidic transglutaminase inhibitors. 
    E Badarau, et al, M Griffin
    Eur J Med Chem. 66: 526-30.

  • Cross-linking of Collagen I by tissue transglutaminase provides a promising biomaterial for promoting bone healing (2014).
    D Fortunati et al, M Griffin.
    Amino Acids. [In press]
  • 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

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

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

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

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

Collagen: Structure and Modification for Biomedical Applications (2007).  DYS Chau, 
RJ Collighan and M Griffin.  In ‘Trends in Biomaterials Research’. Ed.  J Patrick, Nova Publishers.

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

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.

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.