Tropoelastin expression by periodontal fibroblasts.


Elastic system fibers are load-bearing proteins found in periodontal tissue. There are three types--oxytalan, elaunin, and elastic fibers--which differ in their relative microfibril and elastin contents. Oxytalan fibers are known to be distributed in the periodontal ligaments and gingiva, whereas elaunin and elastic fibers are present only in the gingiva. We examined gene expression and accumulation of tropoelastin in the cell-matrix layers of human gingival fibroblasts (HGF) and periodontal ligament fibroblasts (HPLF) in vitro. HGF and HPLF were cultured in MEM containing 10% newborn calf serum for 8 wks. Northern blotting and RT-PCR analyses showed that only HGF expressed mRNA encoding tropoelastin. Western blotting analysis demonstrated 77-kDa protropoelastin and 68-kDa tropoelastin only in the cell-matrix layer of HGF cultured for 8 wks. These results suggest that the different tropoelastin expression patterns reflect the difference between HGF and HPLF phenotypes.


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