Identification of the functional activity of the [A-4] amelogenin gene splice product in newborn mouse ameloblasts

Stanca Iacob, Arthur Veis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In the mouse tooth organ, shortly after birth, ameloblasts acquire their secretory phenotype, which is characterized by the prominent expression and subsequent secretion of two isoforms of amelogenin, M180 and M59 (LRAP, [A-4]). Amelogenin deposition into the ameloblast extracellular matrix promotes enamel biomineralization. A complex set of intercellular signaling events, reciprocal communications between the developing oral epithelium and its underlying dental mesenchyme, guide the expression of amelogenin mRNA, and limit it to a defined period of tooth development. In tooth germ organ culture, addition of the [A-4] isoform, lacking amelogenin exon 4 and exon 6 segments a, b, c, was shown to affect ameloblast development. To understand the basis for this regulatory activity, we have studied the effects of r[A-4] on ameloblast-like LS8 cells, and the role of the putative [A-4] cell surface receptor, LAMP1, as well as the related receptor LAMP3. In the LS8 cells, the expression of the spliced isoforms of amelogenin, LAMP1, and LAMP3 were identified by RT-PCR, and real-time PCR semi-quantitative analysis assessed the modulation of M180 message. M180 mRNA was up-regulated by exogenous [A-4], and this was further increased by blockade of LAMP1, suggesting additive effects between the intracellular signaling pathways activated by the discrete agonists. Immunofluorescence staining identified the patterns of [A-4] and LAMP1 localization in LS8 cells. Internalized r[A-4] was co-localized with LAMP1 in late endosomal/lysosomal compartments. Thus, the LAMP1 and [A-4] intracellular sorting pathways are interrelated. The nitric oxide (NO) signaling pathway was activated by exogenous [A-4]. [A-4] modulated inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS, NOS2) and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS, NOS3) expression, albeit, to different extents. NOS2 was significantly up-regulated after 4 h, while NOS3 increased slightly after 24 h. Co-treatment of LS8 cells with r[A-4] and anti-LAMP1 antibodies further enhanced NOS2 expression. Anti-LAMP1 antibodies did not abrogate NO production in LS8 cells treated for 4 h with r[A-4], but the iNOS inhibitor, l-Nil, down-regulated both NO production and the expression of M180 mRNA. These data suggest that [A-4] modulates M180 mRNA expression, partly, via the NO signaling pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1072-1079
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Ameloblasts
  • Amelogenin
  • LAMP1
  • Terminal differentiation
  • r[A-4]

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Histology


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