Antisense inhibition of AMEL translation demonstrates supramolecular controls for enamel HAP crystal growth during embryonic mouse molar development. Academic Article uri icon


  • During tooth development, enamel organ epithelial cells express a tissue-specific gene product (amelogenin) which presumably functions to control calcium hydroxyapatite crystal growth patterns during enamel biomineralization. The present studies were designed to test the hypothesis that amelogenin as a supramolecular aggregate regulates crystal growth during enamel biomineralization. Antisense oligodeoxynucleotide strategy was used in a simple organ culture system to inhibit amelogenin translation. Under these experimental conditions, antisense treatment prior to and during amelogenin expression resulted in inhibition of amelogenin translation products within immunoprecipitated [35S]methionine metabolically labeled proteins. To determine the efficiency of antisense treatment in this model system, digoxigenin-labeled oligodeoxynucleotides were observed to diffuse throughout the tooth explants including the target ameloblast cells within 24 hours. Ultrastructural analyses of amelogenin supramolecular assembly as electron-dense stippled materials in antisense treated cultures demonstrated dysmorphology of the extracellular enamel matrix with a significant reduction in crystal length and width. We conclude that secreted extracellular proteins form a supramolecular aggregate, which controls both the orientation and dimensions of enamel crystal formation during tooth development.

published proceedings

  • Development

author list (cited authors)

  • Diekwisch, T., David, S., Bringas, P., Santos, V., & Slavkin, H. C.

citation count

  • 128

complete list of authors

  • Diekwisch, T||David, S||Bringas, P||Santos, V||Slavkin, HC

publication date

  • February 1993