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Arch Oral Biol. 2001 Apr;46(4):293-303.

Compositional analysis of human acquired enamel pellicle by mass spectrometry.

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Department of Periodontology and Oral Biology, Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine, 700 Albany Street, Suite W201, Boston, MA 02118, USA.


Relatively little is known about the formation of the acquired enamel pellicle other than that it involves the selective adsorption of specific proteins from oral fluids. Previous studies on the identification of pellicle components have relied largely on immunological or enzymatic detection and have been hampered by the fact that only minute quantities of pellicle can be removed from tooth surfaces. The present work describes an improved method of harvesting pellicle that combines mechanical and chemical removal; this approach was used to investigate systematically the desorption of in vitro pellicle components with different solutions. Eleven major in vitro pellicle proteins were identified by using a combination of electrophoretic separation and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-reflectron time-of-flight mass spectrometry. A similar analysis of in vivo-formed pellicle revealed the presence of intact statherin, lysozyme, albumin and amylase. Further analysis of in vivo pellicle by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry suggested the presence of numerous low molecular-weight fragments of precursor proteins. The protein composition of in vitro whole-salivary pellicle adsorbed to hydroxyapatite and that of in vivo enamel pellicle differed for proline, the result of a reduction in the content of acidic proline-rich proteins in the in vivo samples. Unique features of the oral environment such as enzymatic activities or mineral surface properties may account for these differences between in vivo and in vitro pellicle formation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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