Biochemical Investigation of Some Proteins from Human Primary Teeth to Evaluate Heavy Metal Pollution
This investigation is based on the premise that heavy metals are sequestered by the mineral phase of teeth [1,2], hydroxyapatite, during their formation and there is a relation between heavy metal pollution and progressive destruction of human primary tooth. Our study was carried out on temporary molars – sound and carious - extracted from children up to 6 year old, residing in an area of Romania known to be highly polluted with heavy metals (Pb and Cd). In carious dentin extracts we found increased levels of collagen type 1 and alkaline phosphatase activity that can be correlated with the remineralization processus during teeth decay. Gelatin zymography shown increased MMP-1 (type-I collagenase) and MMP-2 (gelatinase-A) activities only in dentin extract from carious teeth isolated from children residing in a highly polluted area, suggesting their role in pathological extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling and degradation processes in the progression of carious decay.
R. Ciubar Ion et al., "Biochemical Investigation of Some Proteins from Human Primary Teeth to Evaluate Heavy Metal Pollution", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 415, pp. 53-56, 2009