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J Dent Res. 2018 Jan;97(1):84-90. doi: 10.1177/0022034517728504. Epub 2017 Aug 28.

The Presence of MMP-20 Reinforces Biomimetic Enamel Regrowth.

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1 Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology, Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
2 Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


Biomimetic synthesis of artificial enamel is a promising strategy for the prevention and restoration of defective enamel. We have recently reported that a hydrogel system composed of chitosan-amelogenin (CS-AMEL) and calcium phosphate is effective in forming an enamel-like layer that has a seamless interface with natural tooth surfaces. Here, to improve the mechanical system function and to facilitate the biomimetic enamel regrowth, matrix metalloproteinase-20 (MMP-20) was introduced into the CS-AMEL hydrogel. Inspired by our recent finding that MMP-20 prevents protein occlusion inside enamel crystals, we hypothesized that addition of MMP-20 to CS-AMEL hydrogel could reinforce the newly grown layer. Recombinant human MMP-20 was added to the CS-AMEL hydrogel to cleave full-length amelogenin during the growth of enamel-like crystals on an etched enamel surface. The MMP-20 proteolysis of amelogenin was studied, and the morphology, composition, and mechanical properties of the newly grown layer were characterized. We found that amelogenin was gradually degraded by MMP-20 in the presence of chitosan. The newly grown crystals in the sample treated with MMP-20-CS-AMEL hydrogel showed more uniform orientation and greater crystallinity than the samples treated with CS-AMEL hydrogel without MMP-20. Stepwise processing of amelogenin by MMP-20 in the CS-AMEL hydrogel prevented undesirable protein occlusion within the newly formed crystals. As a result, both the modulus and hardness of the repaired enamel were significantly increased (1.8- and 2.4-fold, respectively) by the MMP-20-CS-AMEL hydrogel. Although future work is needed to further incorporate other enamel matrix proteins into the system, this study brings us one step closer to biomimetic enamel regrowth.


amelogenin; biomaterial(s); hydroxyapatite; matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs); remineralization; tooth

[Available on 2019-01-01]
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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