News Release

MMP20 may initiate enamel formation via basement membrane degradation

Peer-Reviewed Publication

International Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research

Alexandria, Va., USA - At the 96th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), held in conjunction with the IADR Pan European Regional (PER) Congress, John Bartlett, The Ohio State University, Columbus, USA, gave an oral presentation titled "MMP20 May Initiate Enamel Formation via Basement Membrane Degradation." The IADR/PER General Session & Exhibition is in London, England at the ExCeL London Convention Center from July 25-28, 2018.

Matrix metalloproteinase-20 (MMP-20) is an enzyme that in humans is encoded by the MMP20 gene. MMP20 expression is restricted to teeth and its malfunction causes amelogenesis imperfecta, a disorder of tooth development that causes teeth to be unusually small, discolored, pitted or grooved and prone to rapid wear and breakage. In this study, Bartlett and co-authors research whether MMP20 is capable of cleaving basement membrane proteins and if its temporal expression pattern is consistent with degradation of the basement membrane.

While previous studies have demonstrated that MMP20 cleaves type IV collagen, laminin-111 and laminin-332, this study showed that MMP20 also cleaves perlecan (HSPG2). Next, Bartlett performed in situ hybridization to identify when and where MMP20 is expressed along the continuously erupting incisor.

The results showed that MMP20 expression was restricted to ameloblasts of the enamel organ and odontoblast of the pulp organ, and discovered that MMP20 is expressed prior to basement membrane degradation. The basement membrane persisted in mice that had their tissue lining destroyed, but was degraded prematurely in MMP20 overexpressing mice. Thus, MMP20 likely initiates enamel formation beginning with degradation of the basement membrane.

This research was presented as part of the Mineralized Tissue oral session that took place on Wednesday, July 25 from 3:15 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. at the ExCeL London Convention Center in London, England.


About the International Association for Dental Research

The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) is a nonprofit organization with over 10,800 individual members worldwide, dedicated to: (1) advancing research and increasing knowledge for the improvement of oral health worldwide, (2) supporting and representing the oral health research community, and (3) facilitating the communication and application of research findings. To learn more, visit

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.