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J Dent Res. 2007 Feb;86(2):153-7.

Processing of ameloblastin by MMP-20.

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Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences, Dental Research Lab, University of Michigan School of Dentistry, 1210 Eisenhower Place, Ann Arbor, MI 48108, USA.


Ameloblastin (AMBN) cleavage products are the most abundant non-amelogenin proteins in the enamel matrix of developing teeth. AMBN N-terminal cleavage products accumulate in the sheath space between enamel rods, while AMBN C-terminal products localize within rods. We tested the hypothesis that MMP-20 is the protease that cleaves AMBN. Glycosylated recombinant porcine AMBN (rpAMBN) was expressed in human kidney 293F cells, and recombinant porcine enamelysin (rpMMP-20) was expressed in bacteria. The purified proteins were incubated together at an enzyme:substrate ratio of 1:100. N-terminal sequencing of AMBN digestion products determined that rpMMP-20 cleaved rpAMBN after Pro(2), Gln(130), Gln(139), Arg(170), and Ala(222). This shows that MMP-20 generates the 23-kDa AMBN starting at Tyr(223), as well as the 17-kDa (Val(1)-Arg(170)) and 15-kDa (Val(1)-Gln(130)) AMBN cleavage products that concentrate in the sheath space during the secretory stage. We conclude that MMP-20 processes ameloblastin in vitro and in vivo.

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