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Arch Oral Biol. 2002 Apr;47(4):261-5.

Amelogenesis imperfecta phenotype-genotype correlations with two amelogenin gene mutations.

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  • 1Department of Human Genetics, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.


Amelogenin, the predominant matrix protein in developing dental enamel, is considered essential for normal enamel formation, but its exact functions are undefined. Mutations in the AMELX gene that encodes for amelogenin protein cause X-linked amelogenesis imperfecta (AI), with phenotypes characterized by hypoplastic and/or poorly mineralized enamel. Eight different AMELX deletion and substitution mutations have been reported to date. The purpose here was to evaluate the genotype and phenotype of two large kindreds segregating for X-linked AI. Phenotypically affected males in family 1 had yellowish-brown, poorly mineralized enamel; those in family 2 had thin, smooth, hypoplastic enamel. Heterozygous females in both kindreds had vertical hypoplastic grooves in their enamel. DNA was obtained from family members; exons 1-7 of AMELX were amplified and sequenced. Mutational analysis of family 1 revealed a single-base-pair change of A-->T at nucleotide 256, resulting in a His-->Leu change. Analysis of family 2 revealed deletion of a C-nucleotide in codon 119 causing a frameshift alteration of the next six codons, and a premature stop codon resulting in truncation of the protein 18 amino acids shorter than the wild-type. To date, all mutations that alter the C-terminus of amelogenin after the 157th amino acid have resulted in a hypoplastic phenotype. In contrast, other AMELX mutations appear to cause predominantly mineralization defects (e.g. the mutation seen in family 1). This difference suggests that the C-terminus of the normal amelogenin protein is important for controlling enamel thickness.

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