Changes in the Proteomic Profile of Acquired Enamel Pellicles as a Function of Their Time of Formation and Hydrochloric Acid Exposure

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Abstract

Objective: Changes in the protein profile of acquired enamel pellicles (AEP) formed in vivo over different time periods were evaluated after the application of hydrochloric acid (HCl). Methods: Nine subjects were submitted to dental prophylaxis with pumice. After 3 or 120 min, the teeth were isolated with cotton rolls and 50 μL of 0.1 M HCl (pH 1.0), 0.01 M HCl (pH 2.0), or deionized water were applied on the buccal surface of the teeth for 10 s. The AEP was then collected using an electrode filter paper presoaked in 3% citric acid. After protein extraction, the samples were submitted to reverse-phase liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (nano LC-ESI-MS/MS). Label-free quantification was performed (Protein Lynx Global Service software). Results: A total of 180 proteins were successfully identified in the AEP samples. The number of identified proteins increased with the time of pellicle formation. Only 4 proteins were present in all the groups (isoforms of IgA, serum albumin, and statherin). The greatest number of proteins identified uniquely in one of the groups was obtained for the groups treated with HCl after 2 h of pellicle formation (approx. 50 proteins). Conclusion: Proteins resistant to removal by HCl, such as serum albumin and statherin, were identified even in the short-term AEP. In addition, 120-min pellicles present many proteins that are resistant to removal by HCl. This suggests an increase in protection against intrinsic acids with the time of pellicle formation, which should be evaluated in future studies.

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