CPNE7, a preameloblast-derived factor, regulates odontoblastic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells.

PMID 25453951


Tooth development involves sequential interactions between dental epithelial and mesenchymal cells. Our previous studies demonstrated that preameloblast-conditioned medium (PA-CM) induces the odontogenic differentiation of human dental pulp cells (hDPCs), and the novel protein Cpne7 in PA-CM was suggested as a candidate signaling molecule. In the present study, we investigated biological function and mechanisms of Cpne7 in regulation of odontoblast differentiation. Cpne7 was expressed in preameloblasts and secreted extracellularly during ameloblast differentiation. After secretion, Cpne7 protein was translocated to differentiating odontoblasts. In odontoblasts, Cpne7 promoted odontoblastic markers and the expression of Dspp in vitro. Cpne7 also induced odontoblast differentiation and promoted dentin/pulp-like tissue formation in hDPCs in vivo. Moreover, Cpne7 induced differentiation into odontoblasts of non-dental mesenchymal stem cells in vitro, and promoted formation of dentin-like tissues including the structure of dentinal tubules in vivo. Mechanistically, Cpne7 interacted with Nucleolin and modulated odontoblast differentiation via the control of Dspp expression. These results suggest Cpne7 is a diffusible signaling molecule that is secreted by preameloblasts, and regulates the differentiation of mesenchymal cells of dental or non-dental origin into odontoblasts.