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Rat enamel contains RP59: a new context for a protein from osteogenic and haematopoietic precursor cells

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We have recently identified a protein, RP59, in bone marrow cells and young osteoblasts, in cells involved in bone repair and in young erythroblasts and megakaryocytes. Here, we report immunohistochemical data at the light- and electron-microscope level indicating that RP59 is also present in newly secreted tooth enamel of the rat and in ameloblasts, the formative cells. In enamel matrix, RP59 was located proximal to secretory ameloblasts only, i.e. in newly secreted material. Distal enamel and enamel in association with maturation stage ameloblasts were unlabelled. Secretory ameloblasts contained RP59 in the matrix-proximal region including Tomes’ processes, post-secretory ameloblasts in the cell-matrix interface. Western blotting of proteins from tooth germs identified RP59 as a band at 90 kD, co-migrating with RP59 from bone marrow and spleen. Antisera versus a chemically synthesised RP59 peptide and versus a bacteria-synthesised protein fragment reacted in the same manner. In situ hybridisation of tooth tissue revealed RP59 RNA specifically in ameloblasts. The reverse transcription/polymerase chain reaction method identified tooth RNA coding for RP59. Sequence analysis indicated that RP59 RNA from tooth and marrow had the same sequence. An internal sequence motif was found in rat RP59 resembling a signal implicated in secretion of the chicken “engrailed” gene product. The findings indicate that RP59 is a genuine product of ameloblasts and that it is secreted in the course of enamel formation together with other matrix components.

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We thank Ingrid Lindell for technical assistance.

Author information

Correspondence to T. Wurtz.

Additional information

A. Krüger and E. Somogyi contributed equally to this work.

This work was funded by the Stockolm County Council and by a grant from the Medical Research Council (Sweden) to T.W.

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Krüger, A., Somogyi, E., Christersson, C. et al. Rat enamel contains RP59: a new context for a protein from osteogenic and haematopoietic precursor cells. Cell Tissue Res 320, 141–148 (2005).

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  • Enamel formation
  • Tooth development
  • Ameloblasts
  • Extracellular matrix
  • PEVK-rich proteins
  • Rat (Sprague Dawley)