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Calcif Tissue Int. 1991 Apr;48(4):288-90.

Human developing enamel proteins exhibit a sex-linked dimorphism.

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Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology, School of Dentistry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles 90033.


The amelogenin protein of developing dental enamel is generally accepted to mediate the regulation of the form and size of the hydroxyapatite crystallites during enamel biomineralization (1). A genetic disorder of enamel development (amelogenesis imperfecta) has been linked to the amelogenin gene AMEL(2-3), and loci regulating enamel thickness and tooth size have been mapped to the human sex chromosomes (4). In the human genome there are two AMEL loci with one copy of the gene on each of the sex chromosomes (AMELX and AMELY), whereas in the mouse only an AMELX locus is present (5). It is presently unknown if human AMELY is transcriptionally active. These observations prompted us to examine specimens of human developing enamel for sexual dimorphism at the protein level. We report here, for the first time, a diagnosis of differences in human enamel proteins which permits the distinction of specimens according to the sex of the individual.

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