Dentin matrix proteins (DMPs) enhance differentiation of BMMSCs via ERK and P38 MAPK pathways

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Yan Yu
  • Lijuan Wang
  • Jinhua Yu
  • Gang Lei
  • Ming Yan
  • Gay Smith
  • Chunbo Tang
  • Guangdong Zhang
  • Anthony J Smith

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Institute of Stomatology, Nanjing Medical University, 140 Hanzhong Road, Nanjing, Jiangsu, 210029, China.


Dentin, the predominant mineralized tissue of the tooth, comprises an extracellular matrix of collagen and a heterogeneous mixture of non-collagenous components, many of which have cellular signaling properties. These properties may be important in signaling stem cell involvement in tissue regeneration following injury and the present study investigates their morphogenic effects on differentiation of Bone Marrow Stromal Stem Cells (BMMSCs) in vitro. Non-collagenous dentin matrix proteins (DMPs) were isolated from healthy human teeth and their effects on BMMSCs behavior examined during in vitro culture. In vitro, DMPs enhanced alkaline phosphatase activity and mineralization in BMMSCs cultures as well as increasing the expression of dentinogenic and osteogenic differentiation markers (including runt-related transcription factor 2, osterix, bone sialoprotein, dentin sialophosphoprotein and osteocalcin) at both transcript and protein levels, with 10 μg/mL DMPs being the optimal stimulatory concentration. Expression of phosphor-ERK/phosphor-P38 in BMMSCs was up-regulated by DMPs and, in the presence of the ERK1/2- and p38-specific inhibitors, the differentiation of BMMSCs was inhibited. These data indicate that DMPs promote the dentinogenic/osteogenic differentiation of BMMSCs via the ERK/p38 MAPK pathways.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-82
Number of pages12
JournalCell and tissue research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


  • Alkaline Phosphatase, Animals, Cell Cycle, Cell Differentiation, Cell Proliferation, Cells, Cultured, Colony-Forming Units Assay, Enzyme Activation, Extracellular Matrix Proteins, Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases, Humans, MAP Kinase Signaling System, Mesenchymal Stromal Cells, Osteogenesis, Protein Kinase Inhibitors, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't