The importance of a potential phosphorylation site in enamelin on enamel formation. Academic Article uri icon


  • Enamelin (ENAM) has three putative phosphoserines (pSers) phosphorylated by a Golgi-associated secretory pathway kinase (FAM20C) based on their distinctive Ser-x-Glu (S-x-E) motifs. Fam20C-knockout mice show severe enamel defects similar to those in the Enam-knockout mice, implying an important role of the pSers in ENAM. To determine the role of pSer55 in ENAM, we characterized ENAMRgsc514 mice, in which Ser55 cannot be phosphorylated by FAM20C due to an E57>G57 mutation in the S-x-E motif. The enamel microstructure of 4-week-old mice was examined by scanning electron microscopy. The teeth of 6-day-old mice were characterized by histology and immunohistochemistry. The protein lysates of the first lower molars of 4-day-old mice were analyzed by Western immunoblotting using antibodies against ENAM, ameloblastin and amelogenin. ENAMRgsc514 heterozygotes showed a disorganized enamel microstructure, while the homozygotes had no enamel on the dentin surface. The N-terminal fragments of ENAM in the heterozygotes were detained in the ameloblasts and localized in the mineralization front of enamel matrix, while those in the WT mice were secreted out of ameloblasts and distributed evenly in the outer 1/2 of enamel matrix. Surprisingly, the ~15kDa C-terminal fragments of ameloblastin were not detected in the molar lysates of the homozygotes. These results suggest that the phosphorylation of Ser55 may be an essential posttranslational modification of ENAM and is required for the interaction with other enamel matrix molecules such as ameloblastin in mediating the structural organization of enamel matrix and protein-mineral interactions during enamel formation.International Journal of Oral Science (2017) 9;e4; doi:10.1038/ijos.2017.41; published online 29 November 2017.

published proceedings

  • Int J Oral Sci

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Yan, W., Ma, P., Tian, Y. e., Wang, J., Qin, C., Feng, J. Q., & Wang, X.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Yan, Wen-Juan||Ma, Pan||Tian, Ye||Wang, Jing-Ya||Qin, Chun-Lin||Feng, Jian Q||Wang, Xiao-Fang

publication date

  • November 2017