Researchers with Ohio State University, in Columbus, gave an oral presentation on “MMP20 May Initiate Enamel Formation via Basement Membrane Degradation,” during the 96th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), held in conjunction with the IADR Pan European Regional (PER) Congress in London, England.
In the study, investigators studied whether Matrix metalloproteinase-20 (MMP-20) is capable of cleaving basement membrane proteins and if its temporal expression pattern is consistent with degradation of the basement membrane. MMP-20 expression is restricted to teeth and its malfunction causes amelogenesis imperfecta.
The results show that MMP20 expression was restricted to ameloblasts of the enamel organ and odontoblast of the pulp organ, and that MMP20 is expressed prior to basement membrane degradation. The basement membrane persisted in mice that had their tissue lining destroyed, but was degraded prematurely in MMP20 overexpressing mice, according to the study.