Sequencing of bovine enamelin ("tuftelin") a novel acidic enamel protein

Dan Deutsch*, Aron Palmon, Larry W. Fisher, Nelly Kolodny, John D. Termine, Marian F. Young

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


Enamelins are a major group of 28-70-kDa acidic proteins rich in aspartic acid, glutamic acid, serine, and glycine found in developing and mature extracellular enamel; a unique and highly mineralized ectodermal tissue covering vertebrate teeth. They have been associated with the mineralization and structural organization of this tissue. In an attempt to elucidate the primary structure of enamelin, a 2674-base pair cDNA isolated from a bovine ameloblast-enriched, lambda Zap 2 expression library, was sequenced. The identity and localization of the deduced protein was confirmed by amino acid composition, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, Western blotting, indirect immunohistochemistry, and high resolution protein-A gold immunocytochemistry. The immunological techniques were employed using antibodies directed against synthetic peptides corresponding to the protein sequence deduced from the cloned cDNA sequence. The results reveal the deduced protein to be a novel acidic enamel protein. It contains 389 amino acids and has a calculated molecular weight of 43,814. Its amino acid composition is similar to that of "tuft" proteins (enamel matrix protein fragments remaining in the mature tissue). It contains one potential N-glycosylation site and 5 cysteine residues. Southern hybridization of the cloned cDNA with genomic bovine DNA indicated the existence of a single gene with one or more introns.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)16021-16028
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number24
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


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