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The Department of Biomedicine

BBB Seminar: Heidi Erlandsen

Structural and biophysical characterization of enamel matrix proteins

Heidi Erlandsen,
Institute of Oral Health Research, University of Alabama at Birmingham, AL, USA

Enamel formation is part of the overall process of tooth development in vertebrates. Tooth enamel is the hardest and most highly mineralized substance in the human body. Ninety-six percent of enamel consists of mineral, with water and organic material, such as proteins, composing the rest. Enamel does not contain collagen, as found in other hard tissues such as dentin and bone, but it does contain a number of other interesting extracellular matrix proteins – amelogenin, ameloblastin, enamelin to name a few. While the role of these proteins is not fully understood, it is believed that they aid in the development of enamel by serving as a framework for minerals to form on, among other functions. None or very little three-dimensional structural information exists for any of these proteins. The seminar will give an outline of tooth formation and enamel development and then go into more detail regarding what is known about structure/function of the major enamel matrix protein amelogenin as well as two other proteins recently found in dental enamel, odontogenic and ameloblast-associated molecule (ODAM) and pleiotrophin (PTN).

Host: Aurora Martinez , Department of Biomedicine