Enzymes catalyze the cross-linking of natural polymers. Monomers (1) join together to form chains of polymers (2) that cross-link to form strong, large compounds (3). Artist: Emily Harrington. Copyright: All rights reserved. See gallery for details.
"In summary, mTG offers a means to crosslink or couple proteins through accessible glutamine and lysine residues. Since mTG reacts with a broad range of primary amines (and not just lysine residues), this enzyme also allows small or large molecules to be grafted to proteins with residue-specificity. Importantly, mTG does not require reactive reagents or activated substituents and, thus, mTG provides a simple and safe method for coupling and crosslinking. As a result, the initial applications for mTG are expected to be in food, biotechnology, and medicine. However, the simplicity and residue-specificity of mTG suggest this enzyme can be used for the precise construction of macromolecular assemblies for a broader range of applications." (Yang et al. 2009:580-584)