Specific cementum attachment protein enhances selectively the attachment and migration of periodontal cells to root surfaces

S. Pitaru*, S. A. Narayanan, S. Olson, N. Savion, H. Hekmati, I. Alt, Z. Metzger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A specific cementum attachment protein (CAP) was identified in human cementum and found to bind with high affinity to non‐demineralized root surfaces, hydroxyapatite and fibronectin. Attempting to elucidate the biological function of this protein and its possible role in cementogenesis the capacity of CAP to promote selective cell migration towards and attachment of various periodontal derived cell populations to root surfaces in vitro was assessed. Human gingival fibroblasts (HGF), periodontal ligament cells (HPC), and alveolar bone cells (HABC) were labeled with [3H]Thymidine during their exponential growth phase. Root slices, 300 μm thick, were incubated with increasing concentrations of CAR Untreated and fibronectin (FN) treated root slices served as negative and positive controls, respectively. Migration was assessed by placing root slices on confluent layers of labeled cells maintained in serum free medium and determining the number of cells migrated onto the root surface 3 days thereafter. Attachment was assessed by incubating root slices with labeled cell suspensions for 2 h and determining the number of attached cells. CAP promoted both cell migration and attachment dose dependently. HABC responded better than HPC and HGF to CAP treated root slices, and HPC response was higher than that of HGF. Cell attachment was dose dependently inhibited by synthetic RGD pep‐tides. FN did not affect the migration of HGF, barely enhanced that of HABC, and was less potent than CAP at enhancing the migration of HPC. FN was more effective than CAP in promoting the attachment of HGF to root slices, but it was as potent as CAP in supporting the attachment of HPC and HABC. The results indicate that CAP promotes preferential migration towards and attachment to root surfaces of HABC and HPC as compared to HGF and suggests that CAP might be effective in supporting cementogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-368
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Periodontal Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1995


  • bone
  • cementum
  • fibronectin
  • periodontal regeneration


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