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- Materials and Methods
FAM20C, also known as Golgi casein kinase (G-CK), is proposed to be the archetype for a family of secreted kinases that phosphorylate target proteins in the Golgi and in extracellular matrices, but FAM20C serving an extracellular function is controversial. FAM20C phosphorylates secretory calcium-binding phosphoproteins (SCPPs), which are associated with the evolution of biomineralization in vertebrates. Current models of biomineralization assume SCPP proteins are secreted as phosphoproteins and their phosphates are essential for protein conformation and function. It would be a radical departure from current theories if proteins in mineralizing matrices were dephosphorylated as part of the mineralization mechanism and rephosphorylated in the extracellular milieu by FAM20C using ATP. To see if such mechanisms are possible in the formation of dental enamel, we tested the hypothesis that FAM20C is secreted by ameloblasts and accumulates in the enamel extracellular matrix during tooth development. FAM20C localization was determined by immunohistochemistry in day 5 mouse incisors and molars and by Western blot analyses of proteins extracted from pig enamel organ epithelia (EOE) and enamel shavings. FAM20C localized intracellularly within ameloblasts and odontoblasts in a pattern consistent with Golgi localization. Western blots detected FAM20C in the EOE extracts but not in the enamel matrix. We conclude that FAM20C is not a constituent of the enamel extracellular matrix and functions intracellularly within ameloblasts. © 2013 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.