A Novel Role of Periostin in Postnatal Tooth Formation and Mineralization*
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Periostin plays multiple functions during development. Our previous work showed a critical role of this disulfide-linked cell adhesion protein in maintenance of periodontium integrity in response to occlusal load. In this study, we attempted to address whether this mechanical response molecule played a direct role in postnatal tooth development. Our key findings are 1) periostin is expressed in preodontoblasts, and odontoblasts; and the periostin-null incisor displayed a massive increase in dentin formation after mastication; 2) periostin is also expressed in the ameloblast cells, and an enamel defect is identified in both the adult-null incisor and molar; 3) deletion of periostin leads to changes in expression profiles of many non-collagenous protein such as DSPP, DMP1, BSP, and OPN in incisor dentin; 4) the removal of a biting force leads to reduction of mineralization, which is partially prevented in periostin-null mice; and 6) both in vitro and in vivo data revealed a direct regulation of periostin by TGF-1 in dentin formation. In conclusion, periostin plays a novel direct role in controlling postnatal tooth formation, which is required for the integrity of both enamel and dentin.