Tuftelin: Enamel mineralization and amelogenesis imperfecta

D. Deutsch*, L. Dafni, A. Palmon, M. Hekmati, M. F. Young, L. W. Fisher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Tuftelin is a novel acidic enamel protein thought to play a major role in enamel mineralization. Its identity and localization has been confirmed by amino acid composition, enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay, Western blots, indirect immunohistochemistry and high resolution protein-A gold immunocytochemistry. The deduced tuftelin protein (pI 5.2) contains 389 amino acids and has a calculated peptide molecular mass of 43814 Da. Immunological studies suggest conservation of tuftelin structure between species throughout vertebrate evolution. The cDNA sequence encodes for several putative post-translation sites including one N-glycosylation consensus site, seven O-glycosylation sites and seven phosphorylation sites, as well as an EF-hand calcium-binding domain (with mismatch), localized towards the N-terminal region. At the C-terminal region (residues 252-345) tuftelin contains structurally relevant determinants for self assembly. We recently cloned and partially sequenced the human tuftelin gene (four exons have now been sequenced). These sequences include exon 1 and over 1000 bases of the putative promoter region. Employing fluorescent in situ hybridization, we mapped the human tuftelin gene to chromosome lq 21-31. Localization of the human tuftelin gene to a well-defined cytogenetic region may be important in understanding the aetiology of autosomally inherited amelogenesis imperfecta, the most common enamel hereditary disease.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)135-155
Number of pages21
JournalCIBA Foundation Symposia
Issue number205
StatePublished - 1997


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