[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Understanding the cellular and molecular events that regulate the formation of enamel is a major driving force in efforts to characterize critical events during amelogenesis. It is anticipated that through such an understanding, improvements in prevention, diagnosis and treatment-intervention into heritable and acquired diseases of enamel could be achieved. While knowledge of the precise role of an enamel-specific protein in directing the formation of inorganic crystallites remains refractory, progress has been made with other aspects of amelogenesis that can be brought to bear on the subject. One such area of progress has been with the identification of an ameloblast-lineage specific amelogenin gene promoter. This promoter can be used to direct the expression of enamel-specific proteins, as well as the expression of proteins foreign to amelogenesis, into the enamel extracellular matrix where their effect on biomineralization can be ascertained in a prospective manner. The resulting enamel from such animals can be examined by morphologic and biochemical modalities in order to identify the effect of the transgene protein on enamel crystallite formation and subsequent biomineralization. This manuscript outlines such a strategy with the potential for enhancing our understanding of amelogenesis.
Connective Tissue Research 02/1998; 38(1-4):279-86; discussion 295-303. · 1.79 Impact Factor