Microbial Transglutaminase

Microbial transglutaminase (MTG or synonymous BTG for bacterial transglutaminase) was
discovered by the Japanese companies Amano Enzyme® and Ajinomoto® in the late 1980ies by screening 5,000 microorganisms. The aim was the constant supply of a cheap and stable
transglutaminase for food applications.

The microorganism Streptomyces mobaraensis (formerly known as Streptoverticillium mobaraense) turned out to produce a calcium independent transglutaminase with the desired properties. MTG is produced as an inactive proenzyme and is secreted to the fermentation broth. Subsequently, proteolytic cleavage of the 45 amino acid propeptide yields active MTG.

MTG is produced in the industrial scale and is marketed by Ajinomoto® under the brand Activa®. Using different formulations the enzyme is widely used to modulate the texture and properties of protein containing food. Also innovative non-food applications using protein cross-linking have been described.
An overview on properties and applications of MTG is given by Keiichi Yokoyama, Noriki Nio and Yoshimi Kikuchi in: "Properties and applications of microbial transglutaminase". Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 2004, 64:447-54.

The physiological function of microbial transglutaminase, activating proteases and substrates has recently been summarized by Alla Sarafeddinov, Atia Arif, Anna Peters and Hans-Lothar Fuchsbauer in: “A Novel Transglutaminase Substrate from Streptomyces mobaraensis Inhibiting Papain-Like Cysteine Proteases”, J. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 2011, 21:617–26.

Scientists at Zedira developed a proprietary recombinant production method yielding pure and highly active enzyme (T001). In addition we market convenient microbial transglutaminase assay kits for quality control in food industry and academia (Z009, M001). However, microbial transglutaminase is much more than biotechnological glue. Due to the broad substrate acceptance the purified enzyme can also be used for site specific protein modification like labeling or pegylation (see section 7: Transglutaminase labeling). Finally Zedira provides a specific inhibitor (MTG-Blocker, C102) to control the course of reaction.

Zedira’s MTG-Handbook provides an overview on this fascinating enzyme.


  • Zedira offers a huge portfolio of reliable specialist transglutaminase related products meant to catalyze research and development, both in academia and industry.


  • Dr. Falk Pharma and Zedira announce start of the phase 2a proof of concept study of ZED1227 for the treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
  • Zedira publication - Features of ZED1227: The First-In-Class Tissue Transglutaminase Inhibitor Undergoing Clinical Evaluation for the Treatment of Celiac Disease
  • Dr. Falk Pharma and Zedira announce start of the phase 2b real-life study of ZED1227 for the treatment of Celiac Disease
  • imageDr. Falk Pharma and Zedira announce successful completion of the phase 2a proof-of-concept study of ZED1227 for the treatment of Celiac Disease
  • imageDr. Falk Pharma und Zedira verkünden den erfolgreichen Abschluss der Phase 2a-Studie mit ZED1227 zur Behandlung von Zöliakie
  • imageReversibly acting transglutaminase 2 inhibitors: drug candidates for the treatment of fibrosis
  • imagePress release: Zedira announces ISO 9001:2015 certification


  • DZG Aktuell: „Aufruf zur Teilnahme an einer weiteren Wirksamkeitsstudie mit dem Studienmedikament ZED1227“
  • imageDesign of Oral FXIIIa Blockers as Safer Anticoagulants – Mission Impossible?
  • imageMicrobial transglutaminase (MTG) enables efficient and site-specific conjugation to native antibodies without the need of antibody engineering


  • 19th International Celiac Disease Symposium

    19.10.2022 - 22.10.2022
    Sorrento, Italy