Publications

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    ABSTRACT: Objectives We recently demonstrated a significant correlation between enamel delamination and tooth-level radiation dose in oral cancer patients. Since radiation can induce the synthesis and activation of matrix metalloproteinases, we hypothesized that irradiated teeth may contain active matrix metalloproteinases. Materials and Methods: Extracted teeth from oral cancer patients treated with radiotherapy and from healthy subjects were compared. Extracted mature third molars from healthy subjects were irradiated in vitro and/or incubated for 0 to 6 months at 37 °C. All teeth were then pulverized, extracted, and extracts subjected to proteomic and enzymatic analyses. Results: Screening of irradiated crown extracts using mass spectrometry identified MMP-20 (enamelysin) which is expressed developmentally in dentin and enamel but believed to be removed prior to tooth eruption. MMP-20 was composed of catalytically active forms at Mr = 43, 41, 24 and 22 kDa and was immunolocalized predominantly to the morphological dentin enamel junction. The proportion of different sized MMP-20 forms changed with incubation and irradiation. While the pattern was not altered directly by irradiation of healthy teeth with 70 G, subsequent incubation at 37 °C for 3-6 months with or without prior irradiation caused the proportion of Mr = 24-22 kDa MMP-20 bands to increase dramatically. Extracts of teeth from oral cancer patients who received >70 Gy radiation also contained relatively more 24 and 22 kDa MMP-20 than those of healthy age-related teeth. Conclusion: MMP-20 is a radiation-resistant component of mature tooth crowns enriched in the dentin-enamel. We speculate that MMP-20 catalyzed degradation of organic matrix at this site could lead to enamel delamination associated with oral cancer radiotherapy.
    Journal of dentistry 01/2014; · 3.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Amelogenin, the major extracellular matrix protein of developing tooth enamel is intrinsically disordered. Through its interaction with other proteins and mineral, amelogenin assists enamel biomineralization by controlling the formation of highly organized enamel crystal arrays. We used circular dichroism (CD), dynamic light scattering (DLS), fluorescence and NMR spectroscopy to investigate the folding propensity of recombinant porcine amelogenin rP172 following its interaction with SDS, at levels above critical micelle concentration. The rP172-SDS complex formation was confirmed by DLS, while an increase in the structure moiety of rP172 was noted through CD and fluorescence experiments. Fluorescence quenching analyses performed on several rP172 mutants where all but one Trp was replaced by Tyr at different sequence regions confirmed that the interaction of amelogenin with SDS micelles occurs via the N-terminal region close to Trp25 where helical segments can be detected by NMR. NMR spectroscopy and structural refinement calculations using CS-Rosetta modelling confirm that the highly conserved N-terminal domain is prone to form helical structure when bound to SDS micelles. Our findings reported here reveal interactions leading to significant changes in the secondary structure of rP172 upon treatment with SDS. These interactions may reflect the physiological relevance of the flexible nature of amelogenin and its sequence specific helical propensity that might enable it to structurally adapt with charged and potential targets such as cell surface, mineral, and other proteins during enamel biomineralization.
    Biopolymers 10/2013; · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Biomimetic reconstruction of tooth enamel is a significant topic of study in material science and dentistry as a novel approach for prevention, restoration, and treatment of defective enamel. We developed a new amelogenin-containing chitosan hydrogel for enamel reconstruction that works through amelogenin supramolecular assembly, stabilizing Ca-P clusters and guiding their arrangement into linear chains. These amelogenin Ca-P composite chains further fuse with enamel crystals and eventually evolve into enamel-like co-aligned crystals, anchoring to the natural enamel substrate through a cluster growth process. A dense interface between the newly-grown layer and natural enamel was formed and the enamel-like layer had improved hardness and elastic modulus compared to etched enamel. We anticipate that chitosan hydrogel will provide effective protection against secondary caries because of its pH-responsive and antimicrobial properties. Our studies introduce amelogenin-containing chitosan hydrogel as a promising biomaterial for enamel repair and demonstrate the potential of applying protein-directed assembly to biomimetic reconstruction of complex biomaterials.
    Acta biomaterialia 04/2013; · 5.09 Impact Factor
  • Victoria Gallon, Lisha Chen, Xiudong Yang, Janet Moradian-Oldak
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    ABSTRACT: Enamelin and amelogenin are vital proteins in enamel formation. The cooperative function of these two proteins controls crystal nucleation and morphology in vitro. We quantitatively analyzed the co-localization between enamelin and amelogenin by confocal microscopy and using two antibodies, one raised against a sequence in the porcine 32 kDa enamelin region and the other raised against full-length recombinant mouse amelogenin. We further investigated the interaction of the porcine 32 kDa enamelin and recombinant amelogenin using immuno-gold labeling. This study reports the quantitative co-localization results for postnatal days 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 mandibular mouse molars. We show that amelogenin and enamelin are secreted into the extracellular matrix on the cuspal slopes of the molars at day 1 and that secretion continues to at least day 8. Quantitative co-localization analysis (QCA) was performed in several different configurations using large (45 μm height, 33 μm width) and small (7 μm diameter) regions of interest to elucidate any patterns. Co-localization patterns in day 8 samples revealed that enamelin and amelogenin co-localize near the secretory face of the ameloblasts and appear to be secreted approximately in a 1:1 ratio. The degree of co-localization decreases as the enamel matures, both along the secretory face of ameloblasts and throughout the entire thickness of the enamel. Immuno-reactivity against enamelin is concentrated along the secretory face of ameloblasts, supporting the theory that this protein together with amelogenin is intimately involved in mineral induction at the beginning of enamel formation.
    Journal of Structural Biology 04/2013; · 3.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Calcite crystals were grown in the presence of full-length amelogenin and during its proteolysis by recombinant human matrix metalloproteinase 20 (rhMMP-20). Recombinant porcine amelogenin (rP172) altered the shape of calcite crystals by inhibiting the growth of steps on the {104} faces and became occluded inside the crystals. Upon co-addition of rhMMP-20, the majority of the protein was digested resulting in a truncated amelogenin lacking the C-terminal segment. In rP172-rhMMP-20 samples, the occlusion of amelogenin into the calcite crystals was drastically decreased. Truncated amelogenin (rP147) and the 25-residue C-terminal domain produced crystals with regular shape and less occluded organic material. Removal of the C-terminal diminished the affinity of amelogenin to the crystals and therefore prevented occlusion. We hypothesize that HAP and calcite interact with amelogenin in a similar manner. In the case of each material, full-length amelogenin binds most strongly, truncated amelogenin binds weakly and the C-terminus alone has the weakest interaction. Regarding enamel crystal growth, the prevention of occlusion into maturing enamel crystals might be a major benefit resulting from the selective cleavage of amelogenin at the C-terminus by MMP-20. Our data have important implications for understanding the hypomineralized enamel phenotype in cases of amelogenesis imperfecta resulting from MMP-20 mutations and will contribute to the design of enamel inspired biomaterials.
    Crystal Growth & Design 10/2012; 12(10):4897-4905. · 4.69 Impact Factor
  • Janet Moradian‐Oldak, Yuwei Fan
    02/2012; , ISBN: 9783527610419
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    Janet Moradian-Oldak
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    ABSTRACT: Enamel is a hard nanocomposite bioceramic with significant resilience that protects the mammalian tooth from external physical and chemical damages. The remarkable mechanical properties of enamel are associated with its hierarchical structural organization and its thorough connection with underlying dentin. This dynamic mineralizing system offers scientists a wealth of information that allows the study of basic principels of organic matrix-mediated biomineralization and can potentially be utilized in the fields of material science and engineering for development and design of biomimetic materials. This chapter will provide a brief overview of enamel hierarchical structure and properties and the process and stages of amelogenesis. Particular emphasis is given to current knowledge of extracellular matrix protein and proteinases, and the structural chemistry of the matrix components and their putative functions. The chapter will conclude by discussing the potential of enamel for regrowth.
    Frontiers in Bioscience 01/2012; 17:1996-2023. · 3.29 Impact Factor
  • Biophysical Journal 01/2012; 102(3):259-. · 3.67 Impact Factor
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    Xiudong Yang, Daming Fan, Shibi Mattew, Janet Moradian-Oldak
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    ABSTRACT: The structures and interactions among macromolecules in the enamel extracellular matrix play vital roles in regulating hydroxyapatite crystal nucleation, growth, and maturation. We used dynamic light scattering (DLS), circular dichroism (CD), fluorescence spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to investigate the association of amelogenin and the 32-kDa enamelin, at physiological pH 7.4, in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). The self-assembly behavior of amelogenin (rP148) was altered following addition of the 32-kDa enamelin. Dynamic light scattering revealed a trend for a decrease in aggregate size in the solution following the addition of enamelin to amelogenin. A blue-shift and intensity increase of the ellipticity minima of rP148 in the CD spectra upon the addition of the 32-kDa enamelin, suggest a direct interaction between the two proteins. In the fluorescence spectra, the maximum emission of rP148 was red-shifted from 335 to 341 nm with a marked intensity increase in the presence of enamelin as a result of complexation of the two proteins. In agreement with DLS data, TEM imaging showed that the 32-kDa enamelin dispersed the amelogenin aggregates into oligomeric particles and stabilized them. Our study provides novel insights into understanding the possible cooperation between enamelin and amelogenin in macromolecular co-assembly and in controlling enamel mineral formation.
    European Journal Of Oral Sciences 12/2011; 119 Suppl 1:351-6. · 1.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Amelogenin self-assembles to form an extracellular protein matrix, which serves as a template for the continuously growing enamel apatite crystals. To gain further insight into the molecular mechanism of amelogenin nanosphere formation, we manipulated the interactions between amelogenin monomers by altering pH, temperature, and protein concentration to create isolated metastable amelogenin oligomers. Recombinant porcine amelogenins (rP172 and rP148) and three different mutants containing only a single tryptophan (Trp161, Trp45, and Trp25) were used. Dynamic light scattering and fluorescence studies demonstrated that oligomers were metastable and in constant equilibrium with monomers. Stable oligomers with an average hydrodynamic radius (RH) of 7.5 nm were observed at pH 5.5 between 4 and 10 mg·ml−1. We did not find any evidence of a significant increase in folding upon self-association of the monomers into oligomers, indicating that they are disordered. Fluorescence experiments with single tryptophan amelogenins revealed that upon oligomerization the C terminus of amelogenin (around residue Trp161) is exposed at the surface of the oligomers, whereas the N-terminal region around Trp25 and Trp45 is involved in protein-protein interaction. The truncated rP148 formed similar but smaller oligomers, suggesting that the C terminus is not critical for amelogenin oligomerization. We propose a model for nanosphere formation via oligomers, and we predict that nanospheres will break up to form oligomers in mildly acidic environments via histidine protonation. We further suggest that oligomeric structures might be functional components during maturation of enamel apatite.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2011; 286(40):34643-34653. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Because self-assembly of matrix proteins is a key step in hard tissue mineralization, developing an understanding of the assembly pathways and underlying mechanisms is likely to be important for successful hard tissue engineering. While many studies of matrix protein assembly have been performed on bulk solutions, in vivo these proteins are likely to be in contact with charged biological surfaces composed of lipids, proteins, or minerals. Here we report the results of an in situ atomic force microscopy (AFM) study of self-assembly by amelogenin--the principal protein of the extracellular matrix in developing enamel--in contact with two different charged substrates: hydrophilic negatively charged bare mica and positively charged 3-aminopropyl triethoxysilane (APS) silanized mica. First we demonstrate an AFM-based protocol for determining the size of both amelogenin monomers and oligomers. Using this protocol, we find that, although amelogenin exists primarily as ~26 nm in diameter nanospheres in bulk solution at a pH of 8.0 studied by dynamic light scattering, it behaves dramatically differently upon interacting with charged substrates at the same pH and exhibits complex substrate-dependent assembly pathways and dynamics. On positively charged APS-treated mica surfaces, amelogenin forms a relatively uniform population of decameric oligomers, which then transform into two main populations: higher-order assemblies of oligomers and amelogenin monomers, while on negatively charged bare mica surfaces, it forms a film of monomers that exhibits tip-induced desorption and patterning. The present study represents a successful attempt to identify the size of amelogenin oligomers and to directly monitor assembly and disassembly dynamics on surfaces. The findings have implications for amelogenin-controlled calcium phosphate mineralization in vitro and may offer new insights into in vivo self-assembly of matrix proteins as well as their control over hard tissue formation.
    Journal of the American Chemical Society 09/2011; 133(43):17406-13. · 10.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Amelogenin self-assembles to form an extracellular protein matrix, which serves as a template for the continuously growing enamel apatite crystals. To gain further insight into the molecular mechanism of amelogenin nanosphere formation, we manipulated the interactions between amelogenin monomers by altering pH, temperature, and protein concentration to create isolated metastable amelogenin oligomers. Recombinant porcine amelogenins (rP172 and rP148) and three different mutants containing only a single tryptophan (Trp(161), Trp(45), and Trp(25)) were used. Dynamic light scattering and fluorescence studies demonstrated that oligomers were metastable and in constant equilibrium with monomers. Stable oligomers with an average hydrodynamic radius (R(H)) of 7.5 nm were observed at pH 5.5 between 4 and 10 mg · ml(-1). We did not find any evidence of a significant increase in folding upon self-association of the monomers into oligomers, indicating that they are disordered. Fluorescence experiments with single tryptophan amelogenins revealed that upon oligomerization the C terminus of amelogenin (around residue Trp(161)) is exposed at the surface of the oligomers, whereas the N-terminal region around Trp(25) and Trp(45) is involved in protein-protein interaction. The truncated rP148 formed similar but smaller oligomers, suggesting that the C terminus is not critical for amelogenin oligomerization. We propose a model for nanosphere formation via oligomers, and we predict that nanospheres will break up to form oligomers in mildly acidic environments via histidine protonation. We further suggest that oligomeric structures might be functional components during maturation of enamel apatite.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2011; 286(40):34643-53. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two main proteases cleave enamel extracellular matrix proteins during amelogenesis. Matrix metalloprotease-20 (Mmp20) is the predominant enzyme expressed during the secretory stage, while kallikrein-related peptidase-4 (Klk4) is predominantly expressed during maturation. Mutations to both Mmp20 and Klk4 result in abnormal enamel phenotypes. During a recent whole-genome microarray analysis of rat incisor enamel organ cells derived from the secretory and maturation stages of amelogenesis, the serine protease chymotrypsin C (caldecrin, Ctrc) was identified as significantly up-regulated (> 11-fold) during enamel maturation. Prior reports indicate that Ctrc expression is pancreas-specific, albeit low levels were also noted in brain. We here report on the expression of Ctrc in the enamel organ. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) and Western blot analysis were used to confirm the expression of Ctrc in the developing enamel organ. The expression profile of Ctrc is similar to that of Klk4, increasing markedly during the maturation stage relative to the secretory stage, although levels of Ctrc mRNA are lower than for Klk4. The discovery of a new serine protease possibly involved in enamel development has important implications for our understanding of the factors that regulate enamel biomineralization.
    Journal of dental research 08/2011; 90(10):1228-33. · 3.46 Impact Factor
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    Xiudong Yang, Zhi Sun, Ruiwen Ma, Daming Fan, Janet Moradian-Oldak
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    ABSTRACT: Amelogenin is cleaved by enamelysin (Mmp-20) soon after its secretion, and the cleavage products accumulate in specific locations during enamel formation, suggesting that parent amelogenin proteolysis is necessary for activating its functions. To investigate the precise roles of Mmp-20 and its influence on the assembly of amelogenin, an in vitro enzymatic digestion process mimicking the initial stages of amelogenin proteolysis was investigated at near-physiological conditions using recombinant porcine amelogenin (rP172) and enamelysin. Hierarchically organized nanorod structures formed during different digestion stages were detected by TEM. At the earliest stage, uniformly dispersed parent amelogenin spherical particles, mixed with some darker stained smaller spheres, and accompanying elongated chain-like nanostructures were observed. Cylindrical nanorods, which appeared to be the result of tight assembly of thin subunit cylindrical discs with thicknesses ranging from ∼2.5 to ∼6.0nm, were formed after an hour of proteolysis. These subunit building blocks stacked to form nanorods with maximum length of ∼100nm. With the production of more cleavage products, additional morphologies spontaneously evolved from the cylindrical nanorods. Larger ball-like aggregates ultimately formed at the end of proteolysis. The uniform spherical particles, nanorods, morphological patterns evolved from nanorods, and globular aggregated microstructures were successively formed by means of co-assembly of amelogenin and its cleavage products during a comparatively slow proteolysis process. We propose that, following the C-terminal cleavage of amelogenin, co-assembly with its fragments leads to formation of nanorod structures whose properties eventually dictate the super-structural organization of enamel matrix, controlling the elongated growth of enamel apatite crystals.
    Journal of Structural Biology 08/2011; 176(2):220-8. · 3.36 Impact Factor
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    Angewandte Chemie International Edition 06/2011; 50(33):7541-5. · 11.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aberrant protein aggregation causes numerous neurological diseases including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), but the aggregation mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here, we report AFM results on the formation pathways of β-oligomers and nonfibrillar aggregates from wild-type full-length recombinant human prion protein (WT) and an insertion mutant (10OR) with five additional octapeptide repeats linked to familial CJD. Upon partial denaturing, seeds consisting of 3-4 monomers quickly appeared. Oligomers of ~11-22 monomers then formed through direct interaction of seeds, rather than by subsequent monomer attachment. All larger aggregates formed through association of these β-oligomers. Although both WT and 10OR exhibited identical aggregation mechanisms, the latter oligomerized faster due to lower solubility and, hence, thermodynamic stability. This novel aggregation pathway has implications for prion diseases as well as others caused by protein aggregation.
    Journal of the American Chemical Society 06/2011; 133(22):8586-93. · 10.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two point mutations (T21I and P40T) within amelogenin have been identified from human DNA sequences in 2 instances of amelogenesis imperfecta. We studied the folding and self-assembly of recombinant amelogenin (rM180) compared to the T21I and P40T mutants analogs. At pH 5.8 and 25°C, rM180 and the P41T mutant existed as monomers, whereas the T21I mutant formed small oligomers. At pH 8 and 25°C, all of the amelogenin samples formed nanospheres with hydrodynamic radii (R(H)) of around 15-16 nm. Upon heating to 37°C, particles of P41T increased in size (R(H) = 18 nm). During thermal denaturation at pH 5.8, both of the mutant proteins refolded more slowly than the wild-type (WT) rM180. Variable temperature tryptophan fluorescence and dynamic light scattering studies showed that the WT transformed to a partially folded conformation upon heating and remained stable. Thermal denaturation and refolding studies indicated that the mutants were less stable and exhibit a greater ability to prematurely aggregate compared to the WT. Our data suggest that in the case of P41T, alterations in the self-assembly of amelogenin are a consequence of destabilization of the secondary structure, while in the case of T21I they are a consequence of change in the overall hydrophobicity at the N-terminal region. We propose that alterations in the assembly (i.e. premature aggregation) of mutant amelogenins may have a profound effect on intra- and extracellular processes such as amelogenin secretion, proteolysis, and its interactions with nonamelogenins as well as with the forming mineral.
    Cells Tissues Organs 05/2011; 194(2-4):284-90. · 1.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Enamel matrix proteins, including the most abundant amelogenin and lesser amounts of enamelin, ameloblastin, and proteinases, play vital roles in controlling crystal nucleation and growth during enamel formation. The cooperative action between amelogenin and the 32-kDa enamelin is critical to regulating the growth morphology of octacalcium phosphate crystals. Using biophysical methods, we investigated the interaction between the 32-kDa enamelin and recombinant pig amelogenin 148 (rP148) at pH 6.5 in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). Dynamic light scattering results showed a trend of increasing particle size in the mixture with the addition of enamelin to amelogenin. Upon addition of the 32-kDa enamelin, the shift and intensity decrease in the ellipticity minima of rP148 in the circular dichroism spectra of rP148 illustrated a direct interaction between the 2 proteins. In the fluorescence spectra, the maximum emission of rP148 was blue shifted from 335 to 333 nm in the presence of enamelin as a result of complexation of the 2 proteins. Our results demonstrate that the 32-kDa enamelin has a close association with amelogenin at pH 6.5 in PBS buffer. Our present study provides novel insights into the possible cooperation between enamelin and amelogenin in macromolecular coassembly and in controlling enamel mineral formation.
    Cells Tissues Organs 04/2011; 194(2-4):194-8. · 1.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Amelogenins are an intrinsically disordered protein family that plays a major role in the development of tooth enamel, one of the most highly mineralized materials in nature. Monomeric porcine amelogenin possesses random coil and residual secondary structures, but it is not known which sequence regions would be conformationally attractive to potential enamel matrix targets such as other amelogenins (self-assembly), other matrix proteins, cell surfaces, or biominerals. To address this further, we investigated recombinant porcine amelogenin (rP172) using "solvent engineering" techniques to simultaneously promote native-like structure and induce amelogenin oligomerization in a manner that allows identification of intermolecular contacts between amelogenin molecules. We discovered that in the presence of 2,2,2-trifluoroethanol (TFE) significant folding transitions and stabilization occurred primarily within the N- and C-termini, while the polyproline Type II central domain was largely resistant to conformational transitions. Seven Pro residues (P2, P127, P130, P139, P154, P157, P162) exhibited conformational response to TFE, and this indicates these Pro residues act as folding enhancers in rP172. The remaining Pro residues resisted TFE perturbations and thus act as conformational stabilizers. We also noted that TFE induced rP172 self-association via the formation of intermolecular contacts involving P4-H6, V19-P33, and E40-T58 regions of the N-terminus. Collectively, these results confirm that the N- and C-termini of amelogenin are conformationally responsive and represent potential interactive sites for amelogenin-target interactions during enamel matrix mineralization. Conversely, the Pro, Gln central domain is resistant to folding and this may have important functional significance for amelogenin.
    Protein Science 02/2011; 20(4):724-34. · 2.74 Impact Factor
  • Article: Preface.
    Harvey A Goldberg, Mary B Macdougall, Janet Moradian-Oldak
    Cells Tissues Organs 01/2011; 194(2-4):90-1. · 1.96 Impact Factor

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