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Thuan Le D.D.S., Ph.D.

Structures and functions of enamel extracellular matrix proteins in tooth formation

Thuan Le D.D.S., Ph.D.

Dr. Le’s research interest is to investigate the structures and functions of enamel extracellular matrix proteins in tooth formation, with particular emphasis on alternatively spliced amelogenins. Mutations in these enamel matrix proteins result in inherited enamel defects, called amelogenesis imperfecta. However, much is still unknown about the roles of these enamel proteins in amelogenesis.

His second clinical research project is to study the pulp revascularization of necrotic immature permanent teeth. The objective of this study is to evaluate a new clinical method for regenerating the functional development of incompletely developed permanent teeth with a diagnosis of pulpal necrosis, and to compare the clinical outcome measures to a current standard method of treatments such as calcium hydroxide or MTA apexification.

Selected publications:

Le TQ, Gochin M, Featherstone JDB, Li W, Denbesten PK (2006). Comparative calcium binding of leucine-rich amelogenin peptide and full-length amelogenin. Eur J Oral Sci 114 Suppl 1(320-6).

Ye L, Le TQ, Zhu L, Butcher K, Schneider RA, Li W, DenBesten PK (2006). Amelogenins in human developing and mature dental pulp. J Dent Res 85(9):814-8.

Le TQ, Zhang Y, Li W, DenBesten PK (2007). The effect of leucine-rich amelogenin peptide on enamel organ epithelial cell differentiation. J. Dent Res 86(11):1095-9.

Tanimoto K, Le TQ, Zhu L, Chen JL, Featherstone JDB, Li W, DenBesten PK (2008). Effects of fluoride on the interactions between amelogenin and apatite crystal. J. Dent Res 87(1):39-44.

Tanimoto K, Le TQ, Zhu L, Witkowska HE, Robinson S, Hall S, Hwang P, DenBesten PK, Li W (2008). Reduced amelogenin-MMP20 interactions in amelogenesis imperfecta. J Dent Res 87(5):451-455.

Zhu L, Tanimoto K, Robinson S, Chen J, Witkowska HE, Hall S, Le TQ, DenBesten PK, Li W (2008). Comparative properties of recombinant human and bovine matrix metalloproteinase-20. Archives of Oral Biology 53(8):785-90.

Zhu L, Tanimoto K, Le TQ, DenBesten P, Li W (2008). Functional roles of prolines at amelogenin C terminal during tooth enamel formation. Cells Tissues Organs. (Epub ahead of print).

Le TQ, DenBesten PK, Featherstone JDB, Li W (2009). Characterization of LRAP hydrolytic peptides and their biological activities. J Dent Res