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

Leucine-rich amelogenin peptide: a candidate signaling molecule during cementogenesis.

BACKGROUND: Cementum is a critical mineralized tissue; however, control of its formation remains undefined. One hypothesis is that enamel matrix proteins/peptides secreted by ameloblasts and/or epithelial rest cells contribute to the control of cementum formation via epithelial-mesenchymal interactions. Here, we focused on determining whether or not leucine-rich amelogenin peptide (LRAP), translated from an alternatively spliced amelogenin RNA, altered cementoblast behavior. METHODS: Immortalized murine cementoblasts (OCCM-30) were exposed to LRAP and evaluated for: 1) proliferative activity; 2) gene expression using Northern blot for Cbfal (core binding factor alpha-1); OCN ( osteocalcin), OPN (osteopontin), and real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for OPG (osteoprotegerin); and RANKL (receptor activator of NF-kappaB ligand); 3) signaling pathway using inhibitors of PKA (THFA), PKC (GF109203X), and MAPK (UO126); and 4) mineralization evaluated by von Kossa and Alizarin-red. RESULTS: LRAP had no effect on cell proliferation up to 6 days, with a decrease in cell growth observed at the highest dose by 9 days versus untreated cells. LRAP down regulated OCN and up regulated OPN in a dose- and time-response fashion, and inhibited the capacity of mineral nodule formation. Transcripts for OPG were increased in LRAP-treated cells compared to control, but RANKL mRNA levels were not affected. Core binding factor alpha ( Cbfa) mRNA, expressed constitutively, was not affected by LRAP. Signaling pathway assays suggested involvement of the MAPK pathway, since the addition of the MAPK inhibitor suppressed OPN expression in LRAP-treated cells. CONCLUSION: Leucine-rich amelogenin peptide appears to have a direct effect on cementoblast activity that may prove significant during development as well as in regeneration of periodontal tissues.[1]


  1. Leucine-rich amelogenin peptide: a candidate signaling molecule during cementogenesis. Boabaid, F., Gibson, C.W., Kuehl, M.A., Berry, J.E., Snead, M.L., Nociti, F.H., Katchburian, E., Somerman, M.J. J. Periodontol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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