Wazwaz, Fidaa, et al. “Salivary peptidome analysis and protease prediction during orthodontic treatment with fixed appliances.” Scientific Reports 13.1 (2023): 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-26969-3
Orthodontic tooth movement (OTM) occurs through proteolytic remodelling within the periodontium following the application of external force to the tooth. This study describes the first characterization of the salivary peptidome and protease profile during the alignment stage of fixed appliance orthodontic treatment. Unstimulated whole mouth saliva from 16 orthodontic patients (10 males, 6 females, mean (SD) age 15.2 (1.6) years) was collected prior to fixed appliance placement (T1), 1-h (T2), 1-week (T3) following fixed appliance placement and on completion of mandibular arch alignment (T4). Salivary peptides were extracted using filtration followed by mass spectrometry to identify amino acid sequences. Protease prediction was carried out in silico using Proteasix and validated with gelatin zymography and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. A total of 2852 naturally-occurring peptides were detected, originating from 436 different proteins. Both collagen and statherin-derived peptide levels were increased at T2. Proteasix predicted 73 proteases potentially involved in generating these peptides, including metalloproteinases, calpains and cathepsins. Changes in predicted activity of proteases over time were also observed, with most metalloproteinases showing increased predicted activity at T2–T3. Increased gelatinolytic activity and MMP8/MMP9 levels were detected at T3. Collectively, multiple protein targets and changes in protease-predicted activity during OTM have been identified.