Matrix metalloproteinase-20 (MMP20) is expressed by ameloblasts in developing teeth and MMP20 mutations cause enamel malformation. We established a stably transfected Tet-Off Mmp20-inducible ameloblast-lineage cell line and found that MMP20 expression promoted cell invasion. Previously, we engineered transgenic mice (Tg) that drive Mmp20 expression and showed that Mmp20(+/+)Tg mice had soft enamel. Here we asked if Mmp20 overexpression disrupts ameloblast function. Incisors from Mmp20(+/+) mice expressing the Mmp20 Tg had a striking cell infiltrate which nearly replaced the entire enamel layer. A thin layer of enamel-like material remained over the dentin and at the outer tooth surface, but between these regions were invading fibroblasts and epithelial cells that surrounded ectopic bone-like calcifications. Mmp20(+/+)Tg mice had decreased enamel organ cadherin levels compared to the Mmp20 ablated and WT mice and, instead of predominantly locating adjacent to the ameloblast cell membrane, β-catenin was predominantly present within the nuclei of invading cells. Our data suggest that increased cadherin cleavage by transgenic MMP20 in the WT background releases excess β-catenin, which translocates to ameloblast nuclei to promote cell migration/invasion. Therefore, we conclude that MMP20 plays a role in normal ameloblast migration through tightly controlled Wnt signaling and that MMP20 overexpression disrupts this process.
- Cell Movement/physiology
- Cells, Cultured
- Dental Enamel/embryology
- Matrix Metalloproteinase 20/biosynthesis
- Mice, Transgenic
- Wnt Signaling Pathway/physiology
- beta Catenin/metabolism