Failure to process dentin matrix protein 1 (DMP1) into fragments leads to its loss of function in osteogenesis. Academic Article uri icon


  • Dentin matrix protein 1 (DMP1), an acidic protein important to the formation of bone and dentin, primarily exists as the processed NH(2)-terminal and COOH-terminal fragments in the extracellular matrix of the two tissues. Previous in vitro studies showed that the substitution of residue Asp(213) by Ala(213) (D213A) at a cleavage site blocked the processing of mouse DMP1 in cells. In this study, we generated transgenic mice expressing mutant D213A-DMP1 (WT/D213A-Tg mice) to test the hypothesis that the proteolytic processing of DMP1 is an activation step essential to osteogenesis. By crossbreeding WT/D213A-Tg mice with Dmp1 knock-out (Dmp1-KO) mice, we obtained mice expressing D213A-DMP1 in a Dmp1-KO background; these mice will be referred to as "Dmp1-KO/D213A-Tg" mice. Biochemical, radiological, and morphological approaches were used to characterize the skeletal phenotypes of Dmp1-KO/D213A-Tg mice compared with wild-type mice, Dmp1-KO mice, and Dmp1-KO mice expressing the normal Dmp1 transgene. Protein chemistry analyses showed that DMP1 was barely cleaved in the bone of the Dmp1-KO/D213A-Tg mice, indicating that D213A substitution effectively blocked the proteolytic processing of DMP1 in vivo. While the expression of the normal Dmp1 transgene completely rescued the phenotypic skeletal changes of the Dmp1-KO mice, the expression of the mutant D213A-Dmp1 transgene failed to do so. These results indicate that the full-length form of DMP1 is an inactive precursor and its proteolytic processing is an activation step essential to the biological functions of this protein in osteogenesis.

published proceedings

  • J Biol Chem

author list (cited authors)

  • Sun, Y., Prasad, M., Gao, T., Wang, X., Zhu, Q., D'Souza, R., Feng, J. Q., & Qin, C.

citation count

  • 41

complete list of authors

  • Sun, Yao||Prasad, Monica||Gao, Tian||Wang, Xiaofang||Zhu, Qinglin||D'Souza, Rena||Feng, Jian Q||Qin, Chunlin

publication date

  • October 2010