ABSTRACT: Expressions of mRNAs for four subtilisin-like proprotein convertases (SPCs: furin, PACE4, PC6, and PC8) and bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) in the rat molar tooth during development were analyzed by Northern blotting, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and in situ hybridization to explore the possible involvement of SPCs in the processing of proBMPs. We found a temporospacial expression of PACE4, but not one of the other SPCs, in this tissue; i.e., RT-PCR analysis revealed that the level of PACE4 mRNA, but not that of the other SPC mRNAs became high around the second postnatal day. This increase was in good accordance with the increase in BMP4 mRNA, indicating an apparent association of these molecules with the differentiation and establishment of functional ameloblasts and odontoblasts. During dentinogenesis, PACE4 mRNA was localized in the ameloblasts and odontoblasts. These observations suggest that PACE4 plays a crucial role in dentinogenesis, especially via the activation of BMPs.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.