Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Competing Proteins Influence Strength Of Tooth Enamel

Date:
September 7, 2005
Source:
University of Southern California
Summary:
A gene critical to tooth enamel formation expresses a protein that is then cleaved into a pair of proteins with opposing functions.

“We were able to dissect this gene into two different proteins and look at them individually,” said Michael L. Paine, USC Associates assistant professor in dentistry.
Credit: Photo Phil Channing

A gene critical to tooth formation expresses a protein that is thencleaved into two proteins with seemingly opposite functions, accordingto a USC-led team of dental researchers.

Related Articles


The team's study of the two proteins, dentin sialoprotein (DSP) anddentin phosphoprotein (DPP), has been accepted by the Journal ofBiological Chemistry and is available on the journal's Website.

Lead author Michael Paine of the USC School of Dentistry saidboth proteins derive from the gene for dentin sialophosphoprotein,which plays an important role in the formation of the tooth coveringsenamel and its softer internal cousin dentin.

"We were able to dissect this gene into two different proteins and look at them individually," Paine said.

The researchers conducted animal studies in which either DSP orDPP were over-expressed in forming enamel during the period of toothdevelopment. They found that over-expression of DSP increased thehardness of enamel and its rate of formation, while over-expression ofDPP created pitted and chalky enamel that was more prone to fractureand wear.

In normal teeth, DSP is expressed only in dentin and a verythin layer of enamel at the junction with dentin. This thin enamellayer also appears to be considerably harder than the bulk enamel ofteeth, Paine said. He suggested that DSP could have the potential tobecome a protective agent in dental care.

If the protein could be incorporated into the entire layer ofenamel, Paine said, "then it might act in a similar way to fluoride inwater" by making teeth harder and more resistant to decay.

Paine cautioned that, just as heavy fluoridation can weaken teeth, excessive expression of DSP could be detrimental.

"There might be a point where if you increase the hardness anymore, teeth might be too brittle."

While the other protein, DPP, appears to weaken enamel, it too is necessary for proper tooth formation.

"All the data suggests that it [DPP] is one of the few proteinsthat seems to be involved with the very early stages ofmineralization," Paine said.

The fine balance between DSP and DPP highlights the delicacyof the critical dentin-enamel junction, where the softer dentin isjoined securely to the outer, ceramic-like enamel covering.

Dental researchers sometimes liken dentin and enamel to a bedmattress and a glass plate, respectively, Paine said, with thedifference that the supple dentin-enamel junction prevents the enamelfrom shattering over an individual's lifetime of chewing and grinding.

The study built on the work of co-author Mary MacDougall, aformer USC researcher who in 1997 was the first to show that DSP andDPP came from the same gene.

###

This research was supported by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southern California. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Southern California. "Competing Proteins Influence Strength Of Tooth Enamel." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 September 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050906074406.htm>.
University of Southern California. (2005, September 7). Competing Proteins Influence Strength Of Tooth Enamel. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050906074406.htm
University of Southern California. "Competing Proteins Influence Strength Of Tooth Enamel." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050906074406.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins