While the participation of the extracellular matrix protein in mineralisation processes has been extensively studied, a role for these proteins as signalling molecules has only been recently evoked. We report on the composition of enamel and dentin matrix, and discuss the multifunctionality of two molecules. Amelogenins are implicated in enamel three-dimensional organization and contribute to the initial mineralisation of the forming enamel. Some amelogenin spliced forms act as signalling molecules in odontoblasts. Dentin Matrix Protein-1 is also implicated in dentin mineralisation and in the differentiation of pulp embryonic cells into odontoblasts. This reveals a complex role of extracellular matrix molecules.
Dentin, enamel, amelogenins, dentin matrix protein-1, biomineralisation