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Eur J Oral Sci. 2005 Feb;113(1):2-13.

Enzymes in the acquired enamel pellicle.

Author information

1
Department of Operative Dentistry, Preventive Dentistry and Periodontology, University of Göttingen, Robert-Koch-Strasse 40, D-37075 Göttingen, Germany. christian.hannig@med.uni-goettingen.de

Abstract

The acquired pellicle is a biofilm, free of bacteria, covering oral hard and soft tissues. It is composed of mucins, glycoproteins and proteins, among which are several enzymes. This review summarizes the present state of research on enzymes and their functions in the dental pellicle. Theoretically, all enzymes present in the oral cavity could be incorporated into the pellicle, but apparently enzymes are adsorbed selectively onto dental surfaces. There is clear evidence that enzymes are structural elements of the pellicle. Thereby they exhibit antibacterial properties but also facilitate bacterial colonization of dental hard tissues. Moreover, the immobilized enzymes are involved in modification and in homeostasis of the salivary pellicle. It has been demonstrated that amylase, lysozyme, carbonic anhydrases, glucosyltransferases and fructosyltransferase are immobilized in an active conformation in the pellicle layer formed in vivo. Other enzymes, such as peroxidase or transglutaminase, have been investigated in experimental pellicles. Despite the depicted impact of enzymes on the formation and function of pellicle, broader knowledge on their properties in the in vivo-formed pellicle is required. This might be beneficial in the development of new preventive and diagnostic strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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