Ameloblast Markers




Ameloblasts are blasts which secrete the enamel proteins enamelin and amelogen which will later mineralise to form enamel on teeth, the strongest substance in the human body. Ameloblasts are derived from oral epithelium tissue of ectodermal origin. Their differentiation is a result of signaling from the ectomesenchymal cells of the dental papilla.





  • an enamel matrix protein, plays a crucial role in maintaining the ameloblast differentiation state and is essential for enamel formation. PMID: 16612084


  • An immunohistochemical examination using this monoclonal antibody demonstrated that the presecretory ameloblasts in their early stages of differentiation both synthesized amelogenin and secreted through a classical merocrine secretory pathway. PMID: 2012313


  • a novel factor produced by ameloblasts that plays a critical role in the formation of dental enamel. PMID: 16304441

AP-1 family proteins (c-Jun, JunB, JunD, c-Fos, FosB, Fra-1, and Fra-2)

  • labeled ameloblast nuclei (except for c-Fos-specific antibody) in rat incisor ameloblasts. c-Jun antibodies labeled maturation ameloblasts in a cyclic pattern, which was correlated with ameloblast modulation. PMID: 11036094

APC (adenomatous polyposis coli gene protein)

  • Using a monoclonal antibody to study APC expression in the forming rat incisor, we found no APC staining in differentiating ameloblasts, then strong staining in secreting ameloblasts and stratum intermedium cells, followed by cells in the transition stage which did not stain. Intense APC staining resumes in maturation-stage ameloblasts and proximal papillary cells. APC staining disappears again in reduced ameloblasts at the conclusion of amelogenesis. APC staining was not seen in any other odontogenic cells. We report a unique system in which APC expression is upregulated and downregulated twice during the normal life cycle of ameloblasts. APC, therefore, is important in the normal maturation of both colonic epithelium and odontogenic epithelium. PMID: 9839785

Connexin43 (Cx43)

  • Cx43 expression in ameloblasts showed a transient decrease and then increase during ameloblast development. Double staining of Cx43 and amelogenin, one of the enamel proteins, revealed that immunofluorescence for Cx43 markedly decreased in some late presecretory ameloblasts just prior to enamel formation. Moreover, the localization of Cx43 changed during enamel formation. Cx43 was distributed randomly on the lateral plasma membranes of presecretory ameloblasts, but tended to gather on those corresponding to the supranuclear regions of secretory ameloblasts. Immunofluorescence for Cx43 in maturation ameloblasts appeared linear rather than punctate. These results suggest that Cx43 in the late presecretory ameloblasts is degraded just before enamel formation and then newly synthesized Cx43 is redistributed during the secretory stage. These changes in Cx43 expression may be related to the cellular differentiation of ameloblasts. PMID: 9376177

Cytokeratin 14

  • K14 is a good new marker for ameloblast-lineage cells during rat tooth development both in vivo and in vitro. PMID: 9068866

Enamel matrix proteins (EMP)

IGF-I receptor (Insulin-like growth factor-I receptor)

  • The distribution and intensity of IGF-I receptor expression varied with the phenotypic stages of the ameloblasts. PMID: 7804395

TGF-beta 1

  • The expression of TGF-beta 1 was increased in the layer of odontoblasts and ameloblasts and in the stratum intermedium with the formation of dentin matrix, where the staining was also observed. PMID: 10557189

TSLC1 (Tumor suppressor in lung cancer-1)

  • a novel interameloblast adhesion molecule that may be downregulated during ameloblastic tumorigenesis. PMID: 17300670