Peritubular dentin formation: Crystal organization and the macromolecular constituents in human teeth

Steve Weiner*, Arthur Veis, Elia Beniash, Talmon Arad, Jerry W. Dillon, Boris Sabsay, Farida Siddiqui

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Peritubular dentin (PTD) is a relatively dense mineralized tissue that surrounds the tubules of coronal tooth dentin. It is composed mainly of crystals of carbonated apatite together with a small amount of collagen. Its mode of formation has been investigated by studying the relatively dense particles isolated from a powdered preparation. Electron microscopic examination of the PTD particles, including 3-dimensional image reconstruction and electron diffraction, shows that the organization of the crystals of PTD is very similar to that of the adjacent intertubular dentin (ITD). The latter contains relatively large amounts of collagen and the carbonated apatite crystals are closely associated with the collagen matrix. The proteins present in the PTD particles are soluble after decalcification and stain with Stains All. The principal protein has higher molecular weight and a quite different amino acid composition than the phosphophoryns of the intertubular dentin. The interface between the PTD and the ITD shows structural continuity. These data show how two distinct carbonated apatite- based mineralized tissues can be organized and formed contiguously within the same organ by utilizing different sets of matrix proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-41
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Structural Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1 1999


  • Biomineralization
  • Matrix proteins
  • Mineralized collagen
  • Peritubular dentin
  • Tooth structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology


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