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Reduced hydrolysis of amelogenin may result in X-linked amelogenesis imperfecta

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Amelogenesis imperfecta (AI) is a group of inherited disorders with defective tooth enamel formation caused by various gene mutations. One of the mutations substitutes a cytidine to adenine in exon 6 of the X-chromosomal amelogenin gene, which results in a proline to threonine change in the expressed amelogenin. This transformation is four amino acids N terminal to the proteinase cleavage site in amelogenin for enamel matrix metalloproteinase-20 (MMP-20), also known as enamelysin. MMP-20 effects the release of tyrosine rich amelogenin peptide (TRAP) from amelogenin. This study evaluated the rate MMP-20 hydrolyzes the putative mutated amelogenin cleavage site. The proteolytic site was modeled as a substrate by two synthetic peptides, P1 (SYGYEPMGGWLHHQ) and M1 (SYGYETMGGWLHHQ), selected from residue 36-49 of the amino acid sequence for amelogenin and the respective X-linked amelogenin mutant. Recombinant metalloproteinase-20 (rMMP-20) was used to digest the oligopeptides and the truncated peptides were separated by reversed phase HPLC and identified by mass spectrometry. The results demonstrate that both peptides are cleaved between tryptophan and leucine, matching the TRAP cutting site found in tooth enamel. However, the apparent first order rate of digestion of the mutation containing peptide by rMMP-20 was approximately 25 times slower than that of the non-mutated peptide. This study suggests that the reduced rate of TRAP formation due to a single amino acid substitution may alter enamel formation and consequently result in amelogenesis imperfecta.

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