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

Extracellular matrix proteins of dentine.

Bone and dentine extracellular matrix proteins are similar, consisting primarily of type I collagen, acidic proteins and proteoglycans. Although collagen forms the lattice for deposition of calcium and phosphate for formation of carbonate apatite, the non-collagenous proteins are believed to control initiation and growth of the crystals. Despite this similarity, dentine contains three unique proteins apparently absent from bone and other tissue: dentine phosphophoryn (DPP), dentine matrix protein 1 (DMP1) and dentine sialoprotein (DSP). DPP and DMP1 are acidic phosphoproteins probably involved in the control of mineralization processes. DPP may localize in gap regions of collagen and initiate apatite crystal formation by binding large quantities of calcium in a conformation that promotes this process. Extensive studies have been conducted in our laboratory on the nature, biosynthesis, localization and gene structure of DSP. Immunolocalization studies showed that rat DSP, a 53 kDa sialic acid-rich glycoprotein, was synthesized by young and mature odontoblasts, and by dental pulp cells and pre-ameloblasts, but not by ameloblasts, osteoblasts, chondrocytes or other cell types. The cDNA sequence indicated that DSP was a 366-residue protein with several potential N-glycosylation sites, as well as phosphorylation sites, but that the amino acid sequence was dissimilar to that of other known proteins. Northern blot analysis detected several mRNA species near 4.6 and 1.5 kb, indicative of alternative splicing events. Evidence for two DSP genes was obtained, further complicating this picture. Recent in situ hybridization studies utilizing rat and mouse molars and incisors indicated that DSP mRNA was expressed by young odontoblasts and odontoblasts in animals of all ages. Transcripts were also observed in pre-ameloblasts. The expression of DSP mRNA ceased when these cells matured to become secretory ameloblasts. DSP transcripts were not detected in osteoblasts or other cell types. The transient expression in pre-ameloblasts suggests a role of epithelial-mesenchymal interactions in the formation of the tooth.[1]


  1. Extracellular matrix proteins of dentine. Butler, W.T., Ritchie, H.H., Bronckers, A.L. Ciba Found. Symp. (1997) [Pubmed]
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