Acidic matrix macromolecules, present in many mineralized tissues, including those of vertebrates, are thought to be involved in controlling crystal formation. Little, however, is known about their in vivo functions, particularly in relation to calcium-phosphate-containing crystals. The manner in which a variety of synthetic and natural acidic macromolecules interact in vitro with crystals of octacalcium phosphate (OCP) has been studied. Interactions were assessed by examining changes in morphology of the crystals resulting from preferential interaction of the additive with some crystal faces and not others. Macromolecules rich in acidic amino acids, with or without polysaccharides, such as polyaspartate and mollusk shell proteins respectively, were shown to interact preferentially with rows of Ca ions exposed on the hydrated plate surface of OCP crystals. In contrast, the phosphorylated proteins, phosphophoryn and phosvitin, interacted specifically with the apatite-like motifs on the OCP side faces. BSP did not interact specifically with OCP, under the experimental conditions used. The observation that these classes of acidic macromolecules recognize different crystal faces should be taken into account when evaluating functions of acidic matrix macromolecules in mineralized tissues.
- Octacalcium phosphate
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology