The Small Bovine Amelogenin LRAP Fails to Rescue the Amelogenin Null Phenotype

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Amelogenins are the most abundant secreted proteins in developing dental enamel. These evolutionarily-conserved proteins have important roles in enamel mineral formation, as mutations within the amelogenin gene coding region lead to defects in enamel thickness or mineral structure. Because of extensive alternative splicing of the primary RNA transcript and proteolytic processing of the secreted proteins, it has been difficult to assign functions to individual amelogenins. To address the function of one of the amelogenins, we have created a transgenic mouse that expresses bovine leucine-rich amelogenin peptide (LRAP) in the enamel-secreting ameloblast cells of the dental organ. Our strategy was to breed this transgenic mouse with the recently generated amelogenin knockout mouse, which makes none of the amelogenin proteins and has a severe hypoplastic and disorganized enamel phenotype. It was found that LRAP does not rescue the enamel defect in amelogenin null mice, and enamel remains hypoplastic and disorganized in the presence of this small amelogenin. In addition, LRAP overexpression in the transgenic mouse (wildtype background) leads to pitting in the enamel surface, which may result from excess protein production or altered protein processing due to minor differences between the amino acid compositions of murine and bovine LRAP. Since introduction of bovine LRAP into the amelogenin null mouse does not restore normal enamel structure, it is concluded that other amelogenin proteins are essential for normal appearance and function.

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Calcified tissue international





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This article was published in Calcified tissue international, Volume 73, Issue 5, Pages 487-495.

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