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Protein Interaction between Ameloblastin and Proteasome Subunit α Type 3 Can Facilitate Redistribution of Ameloblastin Domains within Forming Enamel*


Enamel is a bioceramic tissue composed of thousands of hydroxyapatite crystallites aligned in parallel within boundaries fabricated by a single ameloblast cell. Enamel is the hardest tissue in the vertebrate body; however, it starts development as a self-organizing assembly of matrix proteins that control crystallite habit. Here, we examine ameloblastin, a protein that is initially distributed uniformly across the cell boundary but redistributes to the lateral margins of the extracellular matrix following secretion thus producing cell-defined boundaries within the matrix and the mineral phase. The yeast two-hybrid assay identified that proteasome subunit α type 3 (Psma3) interacts with ameloblastin. Confocal microscopy confirmed Psma3 co-distribution with ameloblastin at the ameloblast secretory end piece. Co-immunoprecipitation assay of mouse ameloblast cell lysates with either ameloblastin or Psma3 antibody identified each reciprocal protein partner. Protein engineering demonstrated that only the ameloblastin C terminus interacts with Psma3. We show that 20S proteasome digestion of ameloblastin in vitro generates an N-terminal cleavage fragment consistent with the in vivo pattern of ameloblastin distribution. These findings suggest a novel pathway participating in control of protein distribution within the extracellular space that serves to regulate the protein-mineral interactions essential to biomineralization.

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