Dr. Frank Oppenheim and Colleagues Publish Several Articles on New Developments and Discoveries in Salivary Research

June 17, 2014

Dr. Frank Oppenheim

Dr. Frank Oppenheim

Henry M. Goldman Distinguished Scientist and Professor of Molecular & Cell Biology Dr. Frank Oppenheim has co-authored an impressive number of articles this year on salivary diagnostics and salivary proteins. The work includes exciting new developments and discoveries, reflective of Dr. Oppenheim’s status as a national leader in oral medicine research.

Two of Dr. Oppenheim’s publications discuss novel developments in the field of salivary diagnostics. The first report, “An automated integrated platform for rapid and sensitive multiplexed protein profiling using human saliva samples,” was published in Lab on a Chip in February 2014. A second manuscript, “Salivary inflammatory mediator profiling and correlation to clinical disease markers in asthma,” was published in PLoS One. The data presented in these articles represents the major achievement of a group of interdisciplinary investigators in the long quest to use saliva to diagnose and monitor diseases. This was accomplished using a new miniaturized device developed specifically to make point-of-care applications feasible in ambulatory, hospital, and even home settings. The results reported represent the first fabrication of a fully integrated platform with the potential to be deployed in clinical environments to allow clinicians to diagnose and monitor patients suffering from respiratory diseases using only microliter amounts of saliva. This work was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Oppenheim’s third publication, “High-resolution high-performance liquid chromatography with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry and tandem mass spectrometry characterization of a new isoform of human salivary acidic proline-rich proteins named Roma-Boston Ser22 (Phos) → Phe variant,” describes the discovery of a new isoform of the human salivary acidic proline-rich proteins utilizing a variety of mass spectrometric characterizations in human saliva samples. These samples were obtained from subjects living in Boston and Rome. The discovery may have oral health implications since the new variant of proline-rich protein contains a single amino acid substitution in a domain critical in oral mineral homeostasis. This article was published in the Journal of Separation Science in April 2014.

Dr. Oppenheim’s most recent article, “Nanoscale adhesion forces between enamel pellicle proteins and hydroxyapatite,” focuses more on the molecular processes of salivary proteins and their effects on tooth enamel. This article discusses the measurement of the actual adhesion force between histatin 5, a specific enamel pellicle protein, and hydroxyapatite, the mineral that constitutes the surfaces of teeth. This was accomplished with the atomic force microscope generating, for the first time information on the molecular forces operating between the proteins that adsorb to teeth. This protein layer provides protection against tooth wear and abrasion. The objective approach described here of adhesion force measurements could be exploited for the design of synthetic proteins and peptides to augment preventive and therapeutic benefits for the maintenance of tooth surfaces. This article was published in the May issue of the Journal of Dental Research.

Dr. Oppenheim and his lab have spent years studying the structure of salivary proteins and their role in host defense mechanisms. These publications are only the most recent markers in a long and impressive timeline of research achievements by Dr. Oppenheim, who has been conducting innovative research at the GSDM for most of his career.

The four publications are listed below:

1: Nie S, Henley WH, Miller SE, Zhang H, Mayer KM, Dennis PJ, Oblath EA, Alarie JP, Wu Y, Oppenheim FG, Little FF, Uluer AZ, Wang P, Ramsey JM, Walt DR. An automated integrated platform for rapid and sensitive multiplexed protein profiling using human saliva samples. Lab Chip. 2014 Feb 17;14(6):1087-98. doi: 10.1039/c3lc51303c. PubMed PMID: 24448498.

2: Little FF, Delgado DM, Wexler PJ, Oppenheim FG, Mitchell P, Feldman JA, Walt DR, Peng RD, Matsui EC. Salivary inflammatory mediator profiling and correlation to clinical disease markers in asthma. PLoS One. 2014 Jan 7;9(1):e84449. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0084449. eCollection 2014. PubMed PMID: 24409298; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3883659.

3: Iavarone F, D’Alessandro A, Tian N, Cabras T, Messana I, Helmerhorst EJ, Oppenheim FG, Castagnola M. High-resolution high-performance liquid chromatography with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry and tandem mass spectrometry characterization of a new isoform of human salivary acidic proline-rich proteins named Roma-Boston Ser22 (Phos) → Phe variant. J Sep Sci. 2014 Apr 25. doi: 10.1002/jssc.201400227. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24771659

4: Vukosavljevic D, Hutter JL, Helmerhorst EJ, Xiao Y, Custodio W, Zaidan FC, Oppenheim FG, Siqueira WL. Nanoscale Adhesion Forces between Enamel Pellicle Proteins and Hydroxyapatite. J Dent Res. 2014 May; 93(5):514-9.