Amelogenin directly binds to glucose-regulated protein 78 (Grp78). Cell migration activity is expected to increase when human periodontal ligament cells (hPDLCs) overexpressing Grp78 are treated with amelogenin. Geranylgeranylacetone (GGA) is a drug that induces the expression of heat shock protein and is routinely used to treat gastric ulcers. Here, we investigated the changes in the properties and behavior of hPDLCs in response to treatment with GGA and the synergistic effects of amelogenin stimulation in hPDLCs pretreated with GGA for the establishment of a novel periodontal tissue regenerative therapy. We observed that GGA treatment increased Grp78 protein expression in hPDLCs and enhanced cell migration. Microarray analysis demonstrated that increased Grp78 expression triggered the production of angiopoietin-like 4 and amphiregulin, which are involved in the enhancement of angiogenesis and subsequent wound healing via the activation of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors as well as the phosphorylation of cAMP response element-binding protein and protein kinase A. Moreover, the addition of recombinant murine amelogenin (rM180) further accelerated hPDLC migration and tube formation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells due to the upregulation of interleukin-8 (IL-8), monocyte chemotactic protein 1, and IL-6, which are also known as angiogenesis-inducing factors. These findings suggest that the application of GGA to gingival tissue and alveolar bone damaged by periodontal disease would facilitate the wound healing process by inducing periodontal ligament cells to migrate to the root surface and release cytokines involved in tissue repair. Additionally, supplementation with amelogenin synergistically enhanced the migratory capacity of these cells while actively promoting angiogenesis. Therefore, the combined application of GGA and amelogenin may establish a suitable environment for periodontal wound healing and further drive the development of novel therapeutics for periodontal tissue regeneration.
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