Dual role of the Trps1 transcription factor in dentin mineralization

J Biol Chem. 2014 Oct 3;289(40):27481-93. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M114.550129. Epub 2014 Aug 15.


TRPS1 (tricho-rhino-phalangeal syndrome) is a unique GATA-type transcription factor that acts as a transcriptional repressor. TRPS1 deficiency and dysregulated TRPS1 expression result in skeletal and dental abnormalities implicating TRPS1 in endochondral bone formation and tooth development. Moreover, patients with tricho-rhino-phalangeal syndrome frequently present with low bone mass indicating TRPS1 involvement in bone homeostasis. In addition, our previous data demonstrated accelerated mineralization of the perichondrium in Trps1 mutant mice and impaired dentin mineralization in Col1a1-Trps1 transgenic mice, implicating Trps1 in the mineralization process. To understand the role of Trps1 in the differentiation and function of cells producing mineralized matrix, we used a preodontoblastic cell line as a model of dentin mineralization. We generated both Trps1-deficient and Trps1-overexpressing stable cell lines and analyzed the progression of mineralization by alkaline phosphatase and alizarin red staining. As predicted, based on our previous in vivo data, delayed and decreased mineralization of Trps1-overexpressing odontoblastic cells was observed when compared with control cells. This was associated with down-regulation of genes regulating phosphate homeostasis. Interestingly, Trps1-deficient cells lost the ability to mineralize and demonstrated decreased expression of several genes critical for initiating the mineralization process, including Alpl and Phospho1. Based on these data, we have concluded that Trps1 serves two critical and context-dependent functions in odontoblast-regulated mineralization as follows: 1) Trps1 is required for odontoblast maturation by supporting expression of genes crucial for initiating the mineralization process, and 2) Trps1 represses the function of mature cells and, consequently, restricts the extent of extracellular matrix mineralization.

Keywords: Biomineralization; Dentin; Differentiation; Extracellular Matrix; Gene Expression; Odontoblast; Trps1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Dentin / growth & development*
  • Dentin / metabolism*
  • Dentinogenesis
  • Humans
  • Odontoblasts / cytology
  • Odontoblasts / metabolism
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • TRPS1 protein, human
  • Transcription Factors