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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Altered amelogenin self-assembly based on mutations observed in human X-linked amelogenesis imperfecta (AIH1).

A hallmark of biological systems is a reliance on protein assemblies to perform complex functions. We have focused attention on mammalian enamel formation because it relies on a self-assembling protein complex to direct mineral habit. The principle protein of enamel is amelogenin, a 180-amino acid hydrophobic protein that self-assembles to form nanospheres. We have used independent technical methods, consisting of the yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) assay and surface plasmon resonance (SPR), to demonstrate the importance of amelogenin self-assembly domains. In addition, we have analyzed mutations in amelogenin observed in patients with amelogenesis imperfecta who demonstrate defects in enamel formation. Assessments of self-assembly of these mutant amelogenins by either SPR or Y2H assay yield concordant data. These data support the conclusion that the amelogenin amino-terminal self-assembly domain is essential to the creation of an enamel extracellular organic matrix capable of directing mineral formation. It also suggests that a pathway through which point mutations in the amelogenin protein can adversely impact on the formation of the enamel organ is by disturbing self-assembly of the organic matrix. These data support the utilization of the Y2H assay to search for protein interactions among extracellular matrix proteins that contribute to biomineralization and provide functional information on protein-protein and protein-mineral interactions.[1]


  1. Altered amelogenin self-assembly based on mutations observed in human X-linked amelogenesis imperfecta (AIH1). Paine, M.L., Lei, Y.P., Dickerson, K., Snead, M.L. J. Biol. Chem. (2002) [Pubmed]
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