Fluoride Action Network


Dentine phosphoproteins have been proposed to have an important role in mineralization. This study focused on the influence of fluoride on the biochemical composition of dentine phosphoproteins and attempts to relate changes to the altered mineralization witnessed during fluorosis. Wistar rats were rendered fluorotic by the administration of 20 ppm sodium fluoride in their drinking water ad libitum, a nonfluorotic group received double-distilled, deionized water only. After 17 weeks, the teeth showed signs of fluorosis. The incisors were removed, split longitudinally, and the pulps were removed. Teeth were powdered and demineralized in 10% EDTA with protease inhibitors, after which the organic matrix was extracted with 4 M guanidinium chloride. Phosphoproteins were selectively precipitated from the soluble extract by the addition of 1.0 M calcium chloride and further purified by anion exchange chromatography. SDS-PAGE revealed two protein bands with molecular weights of 130 kDa and 66 kDa in the nonfluorotic fraction and 116 kDa and 66 kDa in the fluorotic fraction. Western blotting analysis identified the 66 kDa band as alpha2-HS glycoprotein which co-precipitated with phosphoproteins. Electroelution of the protein bands was performed with subsequent biochemical analyses. Phosphate content was determined for each protein band and was detectable in the 116 kDa and 130 kDa bands from the fluorotic and nonfluorotic samples, respectively, with a decreased level noted in the 116 kDa band. The presence of phosphate and the amino acid analysis of these bands suggested their identity to be dentine phosphoproteins. No changes in the ratio of amino acids was detected in fluorotic samples. The fluoride-induced alterations to the biochemical structure of dentine phosphoproteins would appear to influence the phosphorylation of these macromolecules only, possibly affecting posttranslational events. Such alterations may play a role in disrupting the patterns of mineralization seen during fluorosis.