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.


  • imageReversibly acting transglutaminase 2 inhibitors: drug candidates for the treatment of fibrosis
  • Zedira supports Gordon Research Conference
  • imagePress release: Zedira announces ISO 9001:2015 certification
  • imageZedira communication: Joint poster presentation on “Feasibility of a new automated FXIII activity assay”
  • imageArtikel in DZG Aktuell 01/2019 über die klinische Wirksamkeitsstudie unseres potentiellen Zöliakie Medikaments (deutsch)
  • imagePreview: Catalogue Editorial 2019
  • Press release: Dr. Falk Pharma and Zedira announce start of the phase 2a proof of concept study of ZED1227 for the treatment of celiac disease
  • Artikel in DLG-Lebensmittel – 06/2017 zur Bestimmung von Transglutaminase in Lebensmitteln (deutsch)
  • Zedira publication: Microbial Transglutaminase Used in Bread Preparation at Standard Bakery Concentrations Does Not Increase Immunodetectable Amounts of Deamidated Gliadin
  • Pressemitteilung: Dr. Falk Pharma und Zedira geben den Abschluss der Phase 1b-Studie für ZED1227 zur Zöliakie-Therapie bekannt und planen Start der Wirksamkeitsstudie
  • Press release: Dr. Falk Pharma and Zedira announce completion of phase 1b clinical trial of ZED1227 for the treatment of celiac disease and move on to proof of concept study
  • Press Release: Dr. Falk Pharma GmbH and Zedira enter a phase 1b clinical trial for a celiac disease drug
  • Zedira publication: Microbial transglutaminase has a lower deamidation preference than human tissue transglutaminase on a celiac disease relevant wheat gliadin T-cell epitope
  • Press release: Additional subsidy funding for clinical development of a celiac disease drug
  • Pressemitteilung: Zusätzliche Fördermittel für die klinische Entwicklung eines Zöliakie-Medikamentes
  • Press Release: Cooperation between Zedira and Cardiff University - Transglutaminase 6 is the focus of new research into ataxia
  • Press Release: Dr. Falk Pharma and Zedira enter phase I clinical trials for a celiac disease drug
  • Press release: Zedira receives further funding to develop Factor XIIIa-blockers for safe anticoagulation



  • 19th International Celiac Disease Symposium

    14.10.2021 - 17.10.2021
    Sorrento, Italy

  • Gordon Research Conference: Transglutaminases in Human Disease Processes

    12.06.2022 - 17.06.2022
    Mount Snow, USA