Scientists discover teeth protein promises bone regeneration

July 2, 2014, Queen Mary, University of London

Patients suffering from osteoporosis or bone fractures might benefit from a new discovery of a protein that plays an important role in bone regeneration made by bioengineers at Queen Mary University of London.

Normally found in the formation of enamel, which is an important component of teeth, the scientists discovered that a partial segment of the protein statherin can be used to signal bone growth.

"What is surprising and encouraging about this research is that we can now use this particular molecule to signal cells and enhance within the body," said co-author Dr Alvaro Mata from QMUL's School of Engineering and Materials Science and the Institute of Bioengineering.

Publishing in the journal Biomaterials, the team created bioactive membranes made from segments of different proteins to show which protein in particular played the crucial role. They demonstrated the bone stimulating effect in a rat model, and used analytical techniques to visualise and measure the newly formed calcified tissue.

Co-author Dr Esther Tejeda-Montes, also at QMUL's School of Engineering and Materials Science said: "The benefit of creating a membrane of proteins using these molecules means it can be both bioactive and easily handled to apply over injured areas in the bone."

Dr Mata added: "Our work enables the possibility to create robust synthetic bone grafts that can be tuned to stimulate the natural regenerative process, which is limited in most synthetic bone graft alternatives."

Explore further: Identification of a molecule linking bone loss and bone formation

More information: Mineralization and bone regeneration using a bioactive elastin-like recombinamer membrane, Biomaterials (2014)

Related Stories

Identification of a molecule linking bone loss and bone formation

August 1, 2013
Bone integrity requires skeletal remodeling, which involves both bone formation and resorption. It has been previously shown that the formation of new bone is triggered by degradation of older bone. However, it is unknown ...

Taking tissue regeneration beyond state-of-the-art

June 6, 2014
Researchers in the United Kingdom and Malaysia are developing a new class of injectable material that stimulates stem cells to regenerate damaged tissue and form new blood vessels, heart and bone tissue.

MicroRNA that blocks bone destruction could offer new therapeutic target for osteoporosis

June 25, 2014
UT Southwestern cancer researchers have identified a promising molecule that blocks bone destruction and, therefore, could provide a potential therapeutic target for osteoporosis and bone metastases of cancer.

Study unveils new approach to treating brittle bone disease

May 4, 2014
Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have identified a new approach to treating brittle bone disease, a congenital disorder that results in fragile bones that break easily.

Discovery may lead to new drugs for osteoporosis

January 30, 2014
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have discovered what appears to be a potent stimulator of new bone growth. The finding could lead to new treatments for osteoporosis and other diseases that ...

Recommended for you

Bioengineered soft microfibers improve T-cell production

January 18, 2018
T cells play a key role in the body's immune response against pathogens. As a new class of therapeutic approaches, T cells are being harnessed to fight cancer, promising more precise, longer-lasting mitigation than traditional, ...

Weight flux alters molecular profile, study finds

January 17, 2018
The human body undergoes dramatic changes during even short periods of weight gain and loss, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Secrets of longevity protein revealed in new study

January 17, 2018
Named after the Greek goddess who spun the thread of life, Klotho proteins play an important role in the regulation of longevity and metabolism. In a recent Yale-led study, researchers revealed the three-dimensional structure ...

The HLF gene protects blood stem cells by maintaining them in a resting state

January 17, 2018
The HLF gene is necessary for maintaining blood stem cells in a resting state, which is crucial for ensuring normal blood production. This has been shown by a new research study from Lund University in Sweden published in ...

Magnetically applied MicroRNAs could one day help relieve constipation

January 17, 2018
Constipation is an underestimated and debilitating medical issue related to the opioid epidemic. As a growing concern, researchers look to new tools to help patients with this side effect of opioid use and aging.

Researchers devise decoy molecule to block pain where it starts

January 16, 2018
For anyone who has accidentally injured themselves, Dr. Zachary Campbell not only sympathizes, he's developing new ways to blunt pain.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.