Control of calcium phosphate nucleation and transformation through interactions of enamelin and amelogenin exhibits the "goldilocks effect"

Jinhui Tao, Andreas Fijneman, Jiaqi Wan, Saumya Prajapati, Kaushik Mukherjee, Alejandro Fernandez-Martinez, Janet Moradian-Oldak, James J. De Yoreo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Although amelogenin comprises the vast majority of the matrix that templates calcium phosphate nucleation during enamel formation, other proteins, particularly enamelin, are also known to play an important role in the formation of enamel's intricate architecture. However, there is little understanding of the interplay between amelogenin and enamelin in controlling processes of mineral nucleation and growth. Here, we used an in vitro model to investigate the impact of enamelin interaction with amelogenin on calcium phosphate nucleation for a range of enamelin-to-amelogenin ratios. We found that amelogenin alone is a weak promoter of nucleation, but addition of enamelin enhanced nucleation rates in a highly nonlinear, nonmonotonic manner reaching a sharp maximum at a ratio of 1:50 enamelin/amelogenin. We provide a phenomenological model to explain this effect that assumes only isolated enamelin proteins can act as sites of enhanced nucleation, while enamelin oligomers cannot. Even when interaction is random, the model reproduces the observed behavior, suggesting a simple means to tightly control the timing and extent of nucleation and phase transformation by amelogenin and enamelin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7391-7400
Number of pages10
JournalCrystal Growth and Design
Volume18
Issue number12
Early online date22 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2018

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