Cytoskeletal binding proteins distinguish cultured dental follicle cells and periodontal ligament cells

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Human dental follicle cells (DFCs) and periodontal ligament cells (PDLCs) derived from the ectomesenchymal tissue, have been shown to exhibit stem/progenitor cell properties and the ability to induce tissue regeneration. Stem cells in dental follicle differentiate into cementoblasts, periodontal ligament fibroblasts and osteoblasts, these cells form cementum, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone, respectively. While stem cells in dental follicle are a precursor to periodontal ligament fibroblasts, the molecular changes that distinguish cultured DFCs from PDLCs are still unknown. In this study, we have compared the immunophenotypic features and cell cycle status of the two cell lines. The results suggest that DFCs and PDLCs displayed similar features related to immunophenotype and cell cycle. Then we employed an isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) proteomics strategy to reveal the molecular differences between the two cell types. A total of 2138 proteins were identified and 39 of these proteins were consistently differentially expressed between DFCs and PDLCs. Gene ontology analyses revealed that the protein subsets expressed higher in PDLCs were related to actin binding, cytoskeletal protein binding, and structural constituent of muscle. Upon validation by real-time PCR, western blotting, and immunofluorescence staining. Tropomyosin 1 (TPM1) and caldesmon 1 (CALD1) were expressed higher in PDLCs than in DFCs. Our results suggested that PDLCs display enhanced actin cytoskeletal dynamics relative to DFCs while DFCs may exhibit a more robust antioxidant defense ability relative to PDLCs. This study expands our knowledge of the cultured DFCs and PDLCs proteome and provides new insights into possible mechanisms responsible for the different biological features observed in each cell type.

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