Characterisation of biomineralising peptides and proteins
Casein phosphopeptides (CPP) stabilise amorphous calcium phosphate as (CPP-ACP) and have been demonstrated to be anticariogenic in our laboratory. The CPP-ACP substantially increase the levels of calcium and phosphate in dental plaque thereby depressing enamel demineralisation and facilitating remineralisation. The motif responsible for stabilisation of amorphous calcium phosphate has been identified using synthetic phosphopeptides as -Ser(P)-Ser(P)-Ser(P)-Glu-Glu-. This technology has been patented and developed commercially by industry partners. It is now commercially available world-wide in sugar-free gum (Recaldent and Xtracare) and in professional oral care products (Tooth Mousse and MI paste). The three dimensional structure of the CPP are currently under investigation using 2-D NMR and computerised molecular modelling. Further proteins involved in biomineralisation and the development of biomimetics are also under investigation.