Nuclear localization of DMP1 proteins suggests a role in intracellular signaling. Academic Article uri icon


  • Dentin matrix protein 1 (DMP1) is highly expressed in odontoblasts and osteoblasts/osteocytes and plays an essential role in tooth and bone mineralization and phosphate homeostasis. It is debatable whether DMP1, in addition to its function in the extracellular matrix, can enter the nucleus and function as a transcription factor. To better understand its function, we examined the nuclear localization of endogenous and exogenous DMP1 in C3H10T1/2 mesenchymal cells, MC3T3-E1 preosteoblast cells and 17IIA11 odontoblast-like cells. RT-PCR analyses showed the expression of endogenous Dmp1 in all three cell lines, while Western-blot analysis detected a major DMP1 protein band corresponding to the 57 kDa C-terminal fragment generated by proteolytic processing of the secreted full-length DMP1. Immunofluorescent staining demonstrated that non-synchronized cells presented two subpopulations with either nuclear or cytoplasmic localization of endogenous DMP1. In addition, cells transfected with a construct expressing HA-tagged full-length DMP1 also showed either nuclear or cytoplasmic localization of the exogenous DMP1 when examined with an antibody against the HA tag. Furthermore, nuclear DMP1 was restricted to the nucleoplasm but was absent in the nucleolus. In conclusion, these findings suggest that, apart from its role as a constituent of dentin and bone matrix, DMP1 might play a regulatory role in the nucleus.

published proceedings

  • Biochem Biophys Res Commun

author list (cited authors)

  • Siyam, A., Wang, S., Qin, C., Mues, G., Stevens, R., D'Souza, R. N., & Lu, Y.

citation count

  • 26

complete list of authors

  • Siyam, Arwa||Wang, Suzhen||Qin, Chunlin||Mues, Gabriele||Stevens, Roy||D'Souza, Rena N||Lu, Yongbo

publication date

  • January 2012