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

Decreased mineral content in MMP-20 null mouse enamel is prominent during the maturation stage.

During enamel development, matrix metalloproteinase-20 (MMP-20, enamelysin) is expressed early during the secretory stage as the enamel thickens, and kallikrein-4 (KLK-4, EMSP1) is expressed later during the maturation stage as the enamel hardens. Thus, we investigated whether the physical properties of the secretory-/maturation-stage MMP-20 null enamel were significantly different from those of controls. We demonstrated that although, in relative terms, the weight percent of mature mineral in the MMP-20 null mouse enamel was only 7-16% less than that in controls, overall the enamel mineral was reduced by about 50%, and its hardness was decreased by 37%. Percent mineral content by weight was assessed at 3 different developmental stages. Remarkably, the biggest difference in mineral content between MMP-20 null and controls occurred in the nearly mature enamel, when MMP-20 is normally no longer expressed. This suggests that MMP-20 acts either directly or indirectly to facilitate the removal of maturation-stage enamel proteins.[1]


  1. Decreased mineral content in MMP-20 null mouse enamel is prominent during the maturation stage. Bartlett, J.D., Beniash, E., Lee, D.H., Smith, C.E. J. Dent. Res. (2004) [Pubmed]
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