Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Proline repeats help protein grow tooth enamel

Date:
December 22, 2009
Source:
University of Illinois at Chicago
Summary:
A simple amino acid that is repeated in the center of proteins found in tooth enamel makes teeth stronger and more resilient, according to new research.

A simple amino acid that is repeated in the center of proteins found in tooth enamel makes teeth stronger and more resilient, according to new research at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Related Articles


Researchers compared proline repeats in amphibian and animal models and discovered that when the repeats are short, such as in frogs, teeth will not have the enamel prisms that are responsible for the strength of human enamel. In contrast, when the proline repeats are long, they contract groups of molecules that help enamel crystals grow.

The findings will be published in the December 21 online version of the Journal PLoS Biology.

"Proline repeats are amazing," said Tom Diekwisch, professor and head of oral biology in the UIC College of Dentistry and lead researcher on the study. "They hold the key to understanding the structure and function of many natural proteins, including mucins, antifreeze proteins, Alzheimer amyloid, and prion proteins.

"We hope that our findings will help many other important areas of scientific research, including the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases."

When tooth enamel is grown it is bathed in bubble-shaped groupings of proteins, Diekwisch said. The size of the protein bubbles varies in different animals, from 5 nanometers in cows to 20 nanometers in mice and 40 nanometers in frogs.

Diekwisch's team discovered that the longer the stretch of proline repeats, the more the protein bubbles contracted. The study also showed that the smaller protein bubbles were associated with longer enamel crystals, he said.

The new discovery, Diekwisch said, will give new clues to engineer tooth enamel.

"We hope that one day these findings will help people replace lost parts of the tooth with a healthy layer of new enamel."

Co-authors on the study are Tianquan Jin, research assistant professor of oral biology; Yoshihiro Ito, research specialist in oral biology; and Xiubei Liao, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics, all of UIC.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Chicago. "Proline repeats help protein grow tooth enamel." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091221212612.htm>.
University of Illinois at Chicago. (2009, December 22). Proline repeats help protein grow tooth enamel. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091221212612.htm
University of Illinois at Chicago. "Proline repeats help protein grow tooth enamel." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091221212612.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

AFP (Jan. 29, 2015) Oxfam International has called for a multi-million dollar post-Ebola "Marshall Plan", with financial support given by wealthy countries, to help Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to recover. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The World Health Organization announced the fight against Ebola has entered its second phase as the number of cases per week has steadily dropped. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Calif. Health Officials Campaign Against E-Cigarettes

Calif. Health Officials Campaign Against E-Cigarettes

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The California Health Department says e-cigarettes are a public health risk for both smokers and those who inhale e-cig smoke secondhand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) Officials say 66 students at a Southern California high school have been told to stay home through the end of next week because they may have been exposed to measles and are not vaccinated. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
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