$1.9 Million Grant Awarded to Study Calcium Control in Enamel
A five-year, 1.9 million dollar grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research has been awarded to study calcium control in enamel.
A five-year, $1.9 million grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research has been awarded to study calcium control in enamel. The grantee, Rodrigo S. Lacruz, MSC, PhD, an assistant professor of basic science and craniofacial biology at New York University College of Dentistry in Manhattan, hopes to gain a better understanding of calcium’s role in enamel mineralization and the physiological processes by which enamel crystals are formed. The research may lead to new strategies to prevent and treat caries.
Lacruz and colleagues will study mouse models in which Stim1 and Orai1 genes have been removed from specific tissues, such as ameloblasts, sweat glands and salivary glands. By employing localized deletion, researchers will be able to analyze the specific function of calcium release-activated channels in these tissues. Changes in the concentration of calcium within cells are modulated by Stim1 and Orai1 proteins in enamel-forming epithelial cells known as ameloblasts. Deficiencies in the normal functioning of these physiological mechanisms, Lacruz notes, can weaken the outer enamel surface, resulting in caries and other dental disease.
From Decisions in Dentistry. February 2017;3(2):10.