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Is the 32-kDa fragment the functional enamelin unit in all species?
Article first published online: 13 JAN 2012
© 2011 Eur J Oral Sci
European Journal of Oral Sciences
Special Issue: Proceedings of the Eighth International Symposium on the Development, Properties and Pathology of Tooth Enamel
Volume 119, Issue Supplement s1, pages 345–350, December 2011
How to Cite
Brookes, S. J., Kingswell, N. J., Barron, M. J., Dixon, M. J. and Kirkham, J. (2011), Is the 32-kDa fragment the functional enamelin unit in all species?. European Journal of Oral Sciences, 119: 345–350. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0722.2011.00869.x
- Issue published online: 13 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 13 JAN 2012
- Accepted for publication July 2011
- 32-kDa enamelin;
- enamel matrix
Brookes SJ, Kingswell NJ, Barron MJ, Dixon MJ, Kirkham J. Is the 32-kDa fragment the functional enamelin unit in all species? Eur J Oral Sci 2011; 119 (Suppl. 1): 345–350. © 2011 Eur J Oral Sci
Enamelin is an extracellular enamel matrix protein essential for normal amelogenesis. After secretion, porcine enamelin is processed to generate several enamelin-degradation products. The cumulative 32-kDa enamelin is the most abundant enamelin present, and various roles for this molecule have been suggested. However, the proteolytic cleavage sites in porcine enamelin that generate the 32-kDa enamelin are not conserved across species, and the 32-kDa enamelin analogue may not be present in all species. To explore this we studied rat enamelin biochemistry using western blotting with anti-peptide IgGs to porcine 32-kDa enamelin and to the putative rat 32-kDa enamelin analogue. The dominant enamelins in secretory-stage rat enamel migrated at around 60–70 kDa. In contrast, the dominant enamelins in secretory-stage porcine enamel migrated at around 32 kDa. In contrast, secretory-stage porcine-enamel enamelins were dominated by the 32-kDa enamelin. Rat enamelin was completely removed from maturation-stage enamel without any accumulation of 32-kDa enamelin. We suggest that a discrete 32-kDa enamelin is not essential for normal amelogenesis in all species, and in pig it may be a processing product of a larger functional enamelin molecule. The pig may be an atypical model in terms of enamelin biochemistry and function, and caution should be exercised when assigning functional roles to the 32-kDa enamelin as a discrete enamel matrix entity.