Statherin: A major boundary lubricant of human saliva

William H. Douglas, Ernest S. Reeh, Narayanan Ramasubbu, Periathamby A. Raj, Krishna K. Bhandary, Michael J. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


The lubricating properties of human submandibular-sublingual salivary fractions were examined using a servohydraulic model of mandibular movement. Fractions containing statherin exhibited a strong tendency to boundary lubrication. The lubricity of purified statherin was confirmed and compared to the amphipathic molecules gramacidin S and sodium dodecyl sulfate. Contact angle measurements of statherin paralleled the other amphipathic molecules. The helical content of statherin increased in trifluoroethanol indicating the presence of amphipathic helical regions. CD studies and hydrophobic moment calculations indicated that statherin adopts an amphipathic helical conformation at the N-terminus. An energy-minimized model of the polar N-terminal residues 1-15 suggested that this domain could be positioned in space to interact with a hydroxyapatite substrate. These data imply that under appropriate conditions statherin may display an amphipathic nature which enables it to function as a boundary lubricant on enamel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-97
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 15 1991
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the USPHS grant DE08240.


Dive into the research topics of 'Statherin: A major boundary lubricant of human saliva'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this