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Wu Li Ph.D., M.D.

Matrix proteins and proteinases in tooth development and diseases

Wu Li Ph.D., M.D.

Our lab has focused on the roles of matrix proteins and proteinases in the development of tooth enamel and dental diseases for years.  We are using biochemical and biophysical approaches to study enamel matrix proteins, enamel and dentin proteinases and their interactions.  We are studying how the gene mutations results in the changes of protein functions and protein-protein interactions in diseases and development. 

Selected publications:

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

Zhu L, Tanimoto K, Robinsin S, Chen J, Witkowsk HE, Hall S, Le T, DenBesten PK, Li W. Comparative properties of recombinant human and bovine matrix metalloproteinase-20. Arch Oral Biol 2008 Aug;53(8):785-90. Epub 2008 Mar 11.

Zhu L, Tanimoto K, Le T, DenBesten PK, Li W. Functional roles of prolines at amelogenin C terminal during tooth enamel formation. Cells Tissues Organs. 2009;189(1-4):203-6.

Zhu L, Uskoković V, Le T, Tanimoto K, DenBesten P, Huang YL, Habelitz S, Li W. Altered self-assembly and apatite binding of amelogenin induced by N-terminal proline mutation. Arch Oral Biol. 2011 Apr;56(4):331-6 .

Denbesten P, Li W. Chronic fluoride toxicity: dental fluorosis. Monogr Oral Sci. 2011;22:81-96. Epub 2011 Jun 23.

DenBesten PK, Zhu L, Li W, Tanimoto K, Liu H, Witkowska HE. Fluoride incorporation into apatite crystals delays amelogenin hydrolysis. Eur J Oral Sci. 2011 Dec;119 Suppl 1:3-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0722.2011.00903.x.

Sire JY, Huang Y, Zhu L, Li W, Goldberg M, DenBesten P. Evolutionary story of mammalian-specific amelogenin exons 4, "4b", 8 and 9. J Dent Res[1]. 2012 Jan;91(1):84-9. Epub 2011 Sep 26.

Huang Y, Goldberg M, Zhu L, Le T, Qiang R, Liu H, Witkowska HE, DenBesten P, Li W. Effects of Amelogenin Exons 8 and 9 on Postnatal DPCs. Cell Tissues Organs Cells Tissues Organs. 2012 Feb 1. [Epub ahead of print].

Activation Profiles of Human Kallikrein-related Peptidases by Matrix Metalloproteinases. Yoon H., Blaber S.I., Li W., Scarisbrick I.A., Blaber M. Biol Chem. 2013 Jan;394(1):137-47. doi: 10.1515/hsz-2012-0249.