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Elisabetta Verderio Edwards

Elisabetta Verderio Edwards


School of Science & Technology

Staff Group(s)


Dr Verderio Edwards is:

  • Coordinator of REF Unit of Assessment A03: Allied Health Professions and Studies
  • Leader of final year undergraduate module Cell Signalling and Cancer  and
  • Teaches on Master-level module Biology of Disease, Molecular Genetics of Human Disease, and offers Master-level Research projects.

Research areas

The Verderio Edwards' group-interests centre on the function of Transglutaminase-2 (TG2) in adhesion dynamics and the relationship of this with wound healing, tissue fibrosis and cell survival.

What is Transglutaminase-2?

Transglutaminase type 2 (TG2) (EC, which belongs to an emergent class of proteins with distinct molecular activities, functions both inside and outside the cell and transits the plasma membrane by unconventional secretion. TG2 has been implicated in the pathogenesis of many apparently unrelated diseases such as tissue fibrosis, celiac disease, cancers, neurodegenerative disorders, and type-2 diabetes. Although capable of different biological activities, overall its expression and activation is believed to occur as a response to tissue injury and / or cell stress. Protein cross-linking is the enzymatic reaction for which TG2 is better known, involving an acyl transfer reaction between the gamma carboxamide group of a peptide-bound Gln residue and the epsilon-amino group of a peptide-bound Lys residue or a primary amino group of a polyamine. TG2 causes additional post-translational modifications among which protein deamidation of Gln residues contributes to the development of disorders caused by gluten sensitivity. A recent review from our lab: Savoca et al. 2018.

What have we achieved?

The team have extensively collaborated with CNRS- Grenoble Institut de Biologie Structurale, Grenoble (Prof H. Lortat-Jacob) for surface plasmon resonance studies and the Department of Biological Sciences of University of Bologna (Prof D. Serafini-Fracassini and Prof S. Del Duca), for work with pollen transglutaminase.

Our Research Group

Current Research Associates

  • Elisa Tonoli
  • Adeola Atobatele (Grace)

Research Fellows

  • Dr Alessandra Scarpellini (now Manager at Essen BioScience-Sartorious)
  • Dr Nina Schroder (now at Sygnature Discovery)

Current PhD Students :

  • Adeola Atobatele (Grace)
  • Elisa Tonoli
  • Maria Pia Savoca

Previous PhD Students:

  • Shakthi Dookie
  • Alessandra Scarpellini
  • Izhar Burhan
  • Giulia Furini

The range of skills I have learned in 6 months from the start of my PhD are amazing. (First Year PhD Student)

The level of guidance and feedback I have received throughout my PhD studies was continuous and of high standard. Final Year PhD student. (First Year PhD Student)

PhD Projects available in the area of:

  • Kidney Fibrosis
  • Cancer microenvironment
  • Matrix Cross-linking in Bone Marrow Stem Cell milieu
For more information email:

Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil / PhD exist in all the areas identified above and further information may be obtained from the

External activity

Sponsors and collaborators

Research support including from

  • VU Medical School Amsterdam (2019), €10,000
  • UCB Pharmaceuticals (2017-2018), £105, 740
  • Kidney Research UK (2013-2016), £66,440 -Transglutaminase-2 (TG2) interactome in experimental kidney fibrosis: accelerated identification of TG2 therapeutic targets
  • Wellcome Trust (2009 to 2013), £322,000 ( £146,994 to NTU) - Does Syndecan-4 play a crucial role in the development of kidney scarring by acting as a novel cell surface co receptor for Transglutaminase-2
  • iNET East Midlands (2009 to 2010), £24,634 -Tissue transglutaminase (TG2) - a candidate susceptibility gene for Type 2 Diabetes
  • British Council-CRUI (2006 to 2007), £12,000 - Influence of climatic changing factors on the allergenicity of pollen and allergic respiratory diseases: the involvement of pollen transglutaminase
  • EPSRC (2003 to 2006), £160,000 - The use of tissue transglutaminase as a novel biocatalyst in the modification of collagen for development of new biomaterial, E Verderio (Co-I).


Proteomic Profiling Reveals the Transglutaminase-2 Externalization Pathway in Kidneys after Unilateral Ureteric Obstruction. Furini, G., Schroeder, N., Huang, L., Boocock, D., Scarpellini, A., Coveney, C., Tonoli, E., Ramaswamy, R., Ball, G., Verderio, C., Johnson, T.S., Verderio, E.A.M. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 2018, 29:880-905.

Interplay between transglutaminases and heparan sulphate in progressive renal scarring. Burhan, I., Furini, G., Lortat-Jacob, H., Atobatele, A.G., Scarpellini, A., Schroeder, N., Atkinson, J., Maamra, M., Nutter, F.H., Watson, P., Vinciguerra, M., Johnson, T.S, Verderio, E. Scientific Reports. 2016, 6:31343.

Syndecan-4 knockout leads to reduced extracellular transglutaminase-2 and protects against tubulointerstitial fibrosis. Scarpellini A, Huang L, Burhan I, Schroeder N, Funck M, Johnson TS, Verderio EA. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 2014, 25:1013-27.

Transglutaminase-2 interaction with heparin: identification of a heparin binding site that regulates cell adhesion to fibronectin-transglutaminase-2 matrix. Lortat-Jacob H, Burhan I, Scarpellini A, Thomas A, Imberty A, Vivès RR, Johnson T, Gutierrez A, Verderio E, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2012, 287:18005-18017

A crucial sequence for transglutaminase type 2 extracellular trafficking in renal tubular epithelial cells lies in its N-terminal -sandwich domain. Chou CY, Streets AJ, Watson PF, Huang L, Verderio E, Johnson TS, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2011, 286:27825-27835

Simulated environmental criticalities affect transglutaminase of Malus and Corylus pollens having different allergenic potential. Iorio RA, Di Sandro A, Paris R, Pagliarani G, Tartarini S,  Ricci G,  Serafini-Fracassini D, Verderio E, Del Duca S, Amino Acids, 2011, 42:1007

An extracellular transglutaminase is required in apple pollen tube growth. Di Sandro A, Del Duca, S, Verderio E, Hargreaves A, Bonner P, Griffin M, Iorio R, Scarpellini A, Serafini-Fracassini D, Biochemical Journal, 2010, 429: 261-271

Heparan sulphate proteoglycans are receptors for the cell-surface trafficking and biological activity of transglutaminase-2. Scarpellini A, Germack R, Lortat-Jacob H, Muramatsu T, Billett E, Johnson T, Verderio E, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2009, 284:18411-1842

Fibronectin-tissue transglutaminase matrix rescues RGD-impaired cell adhesion through syndecan-4 and beta(1) integrin co-signaling. Telci D, Wang Z, Li X, Verderio EA, Humphries MJ, Baccarini M, Basaga H, Griffin M, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2008, 283:20937-41

See all of Elisabetta Verderio Edwards's publications...

Press expertise

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Fibrosis
  • Wound healing
  • Transglutaminase type 2 (TG2)