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J Dent Res. 2000 Apr;79(4):976-82.

The association of basic proline-rich peptides from human parotid gland secretions with caries experience.

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  • 1Center for Oral Biology, Aab Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of Rochester Medical Center, NY 14642, USA.


To address whether there are associations between the peptide composition of human parotid saliva and dental decay (caries) experience, we have characterized the peptides from parotid ductal saliva collected from nine adults who have remained free from dental caries (mean age = 59.2; Decayed Missing Filled Surfaces index [DMFS] = 0) and nine individuals who have experienced caries (mean age = 51.2; mean DMFS = 38.4). Ethanol-soluble peptides were size-fractionated on columns of Bio-Gel P-2; the salivary peptides derived from caries-susceptible subjects appeared larger than those found in the saliva of caries-free subjects. Peptides were then resolved into 19 species by cation exchange HPLC. Sequence analysis identified 18 peptides that appear to be proteolytic cleavage products of the basic proline-rich proteins IB-4, IB-5, IB-7, IB-8b, and P-B. The peptides that were more abundant in saliva obtained from the caries-free group differed from those isolated from the caries-susceptible group. The median peptide concentration of one possible precursor protein, IB-7, was found to be higher in saliva collected from caries-free individuals than in that from caries-susceptible individuals. Although differences were found in the phenotypes of proline-rich proteins expressed by these groups of caries-free and caries-susceptible subjects, no statistically significant associations were observed among proline-rich phenotypes and the level of any peptide. Collectively, our results indicate that proteolytic processing of parotid salivary proteins differs among individuals who have remained caries-free and those who have experienced dental decay.

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