Murine matrix metalloproteinase-20 overexpression stimulates cell invasion into the enamel layer via enhanced Wnt signaling

Masashi Shin, Maiko Suzuki, Xiaomu Guan, Charles E Smith, John D Bartlett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29492
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - Jul 11 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Ameloblasts/metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cadherins/metabolism
  • Cell Movement/physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dental Enamel/embryology
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 20/biosynthesis
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Tooth/embryology
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway/physiology
  • beta Catenin/metabolism


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