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Int J Pept Protein Res. 1987 Aug;30(2):257-62.

Chemical synthesis of phosphoseryl-phosphoserine, a partial analogue of human salivary statherin, a protein inhibitor of calcium phosphate precipitation in human saliva.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Kaplan Cancer Center, New York University Medical Center, NY.


Human salivary secretions are supersaturated with respect to basic calcium phosphates but spontaneous precipitation of these salts from saliva, or surface-induced precipitation of calcium phosphates onto dental enamel, does not normally occur. This unexpected stability has been attributed to the inhibitory activities of two kinds of salivary phosphoproteins: statherin and the acidic, proline-rich phosphoproteins (PRP). Investigation of the structure-function relationships of statherin, the most potent inhibitor of primary (spontaneous) and secondary (seeded) precipitation of calcium phosphate salts in human saliva has been limited to studies of peptide segments obtained from the native peptide by specific proteolysis. Solid phase peptide synthesis (SPPS) is a useful and potentially more flexible alternative. Phosphoserine residues (positions 2 & 3) play critically important roles in the precipitation-inhibition activities of statherin, but SPP synthesis of these phosphorylated peptides is precluded because of the instability of phosphoserine residues in the presence of HF. Thus, this peptide was synthesized by solution-phase methods. The dipeptide possessed substantial inhibitory activity in assays for inhibition of both primary and secondary precipitation of calcium phosphate salts, but was not as active as either N-terminal tryptic hexapeptide of statherin or intact statherin. Syntheses of other model phosphorylated peptides are underway to expand the structure-function relationships.

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