Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs), syndecan-4 (Sdc4) especially, have been suggested as potential partners of transglutaminase-2 (TG2) in kidney and cardiac fibrosis, metastatic cancer, neurodegeneration and coeliac disease. The proposed role for HSPGs in the trafficking of TG2 at the cell surface and in the extracellular matrix (ECM) has been linked to the fibrogenic action of TG2 in experimental models of kidney fibrosis. As the TG2-HSPG interaction is largely mediated by the heparan sulfate (HS) chains of proteoglycans, in the past few years a number of studies have investigated the affinity of TG2 for HS, and the TG2 heparin binding site has been mapped with alternative outlooks. In this review, we aim to provide a compendium of the main literature available on the interaction of TG2 with HS, with reference to the pathological processes in which extracellular TG2 plays a role.
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