Expression of Phosphate Transporters during Dental Mineralization

J Dent Res. 2018 Feb;97(2):209-217. doi: 10.1177/0022034517729811. Epub 2017 Sep 11.

Abstract

The importance of phosphate (Pi) as an essential component of hydroxyapatite crystals suggests a key role for membrane proteins controlling Pi uptake during mineralization in the tooth. To clarify the involvement of the currently known Pi transporters (Slc17a1, Slc34a1, Slc34a2, Slc34a3, Slc20a1, Slc20a2, and Xpr1) during tooth development and mineralization, we determined their spatiotemporal expression in murine tooth germs from embryonic day 14.5 to postnatal day 15 and in human dental samples from Nolla stages 6 to 9. Using real-time polymerase chain reaction, in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, and X-gal staining, we showed that the expression of Slc17a1, Slc34a1, and Slc34a3 in tooth germs from C57BL/6 mice were very low. In contrast, Slc34a2, Slc20a1, Slc20a2, and Xpr1 were highly expressed, mostly during the postnatal stages. The expression of Slc20a2 was 2- to 10-fold higher than the other transporters. Comparable results were obtained in human tooth germs. In mice, Slc34a2 and Slc20a1 were predominantly expressed in ameloblasts but not odontoblasts, while Slc20a2 was detected neither in ameloblasts nor in odontoblasts. Rather, Slc20a2 was highly expressed in the stratum intermedium and the subodontoblastic cell layer. Although Slc20a2 knockout mice did not show enamel defects, mutant mice showed a disrupted dentin mineralization, displaying unmerged calcospherites at the mineralization front. This latter phenotypical finding raises the possibility that Slc20a2 may play an indirect role in regulating the extracellular Pi availability for mineralizing cells rather than a direct role in mediating Pi transport through mineralizing plasma cell membranes. By documenting the spatiotemporal expression of Pi transporters in the tooth, our data support the possibility that the currently known Pi transporters may be dispensable for the initiation of dental mineralization and may rather be involved later during the tooth mineralization scheme.

Keywords: Slc20a2 protein; gene expression; knockout mice; odontogenesis; phosphate transport proteins; tooth calcification/genetics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • France
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Phosphate Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Tooth Calcification / genetics*
  • Tooth Germ / embryology
  • Tooth Germ / metabolism
  • X-Ray Microtomography

Substances

  • Phosphate Transport Proteins