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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012 Oct 5;426(4):643-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.09.008. Epub 2012 Sep 11.

Role of ferritin in the cytodifferentiation of periodontal ligament cells.

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Department of Periodontology, Peking University School and Hospital of Stomatology, 22 Zhongguancun Nandajie, Haidian District, Beijing 100081, PR China.


This study investigated the expression and functions of ferritin, which is involved in osteoblastogenesis, in the periodontal ligament (PDL). The PDL is one of the most important tissues for maintaining the homeostasis of teeth and tooth-supporting tissues. Real-time PCR analyses of the human PDL revealed abundant expression of ferritin light polypeptide (FTL) and ferritin heavy polypeptide (FTH), which encode the highly-conserved iron storage protein, ferritin. Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated predominant expression of FTL and FTH in mouse PDL tissues in vivo. In in vitro-maintained mouse PDL cells, FTL and FTH expressions were upregulated at both the mRNA and protein levels during the course of cytodifferentiation and mineralization. Interestingly, stimulation of PDL cells with exogenous apoferritin (iron-free ferritin) increased calcified nodule formation and alkaline phosphatase activity as well as the mRNA expressions of mineralization-related genes during the course of cytodifferentiation. On the other hand, RNA interference of FTH inhibited the mineralized nodule formation of PDL cells. This is the first report to demonstrate that ferritin is predominantly expressed in PDL tissues and positively regulates the cytodifferentiation and mineralization of PDL cells.

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