Biglycan and Decorin Expression and Distribution in Palatal Adhesion.
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Previous studies demonstrated that chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) on apical surfaces of palatal medial edge epithelial (MEE) cells were necessary for palatal adhesion. In this study, we identified 2 proteoglycans, biglycan and decorin, that were expressed in the palatal shelves prior to adhesion. In addition, we established that these proteoglycans were dependent on transforming growth factor (TGF) signaling. Laser capture microdissection was used to collect selected palatal epithelial cells from embryonic mouse embryos at various palate development stages. The expression of specific messenger RNA (mRNA) for biglycan and decorin was determined with quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. The TGFrI kinase inhibitor (SB431542) was used in palatal organ cultures to determine if blocking TFG signaling changed biglycan and decorin distribution. Immunohistochemistry of both biglycan and decorin revealed expression on the apical and lateral surfaces of MEE cells. Biglycan protein and mRNA levels peaked as the palatal shelves adhered. Decorin was less abundant on the apical epithelial surface and also had reduced mRNA levels compared to biglycan. Their proteins were not expressed on MEE cells of palates treated with SB431542, an inhibitor of TGF signaling. The temporal expression of biglycan and decorin on the apical surface of MEE, combined with the evidence that these proteins were regulated through the TGF pathway, indicated that they may be important for adhesion.