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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 924397, 11 pages
Research Article

Hexosamine-Induced TGF-β Signaling and Osteogenic Differentiation of Dental Pulp Stem Cells Are Dependent on N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferase V

1Department of Dentistry, National Taiwan University Hospital and School of Dentistry, National Taiwan University, Taipei City 10048, Taiwan
2Institute of Biomedical Engineering, College of Medicine and College of Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei City 10048, Taiwan

Received 28 May 2015; Accepted 12 August 2015

Academic Editor: Gilberto Sammartino

Copyright © 2015 Yi-Jane Chen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Glycans of cell surface glycoproteins are involved in the regulation of cell migration, growth, and differentiation. N-acetyl-glucosaminyltransferase V (GnT-V) transfers N-acetyl-d-glucosamine to form β1,6-branched N-glycans, thus playing a crucial role in the biosynthesis of glycoproteins. This study reveals the distinct expression of GnT-V in STRO-1 and CD-146 double-positive dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs). Furthermore, we investigated three types of hexosamines and their N-acetyl derivatives for possible effects on the osteogenic differentiation potential of DPSCs. Our results showed that exogenous d-glucosamine (GlcN), N-acetyl-d-glucosamine (GlcNAc), d-mannosamine (ManN), and acetyl-d-mannosamine (ManNAc) promoted DPSCs’ early osteogenic differentiation in the absence of osteogenic supplements, but d-galactosamine (GalN) or N-acetyl-galactosamine (GalNAc) did not. Effects include the increased level of TGF-β receptor type I, activation of TGF-β signaling, and increased mRNA expression of osteogenic differentiation marker genes. The hexosamine-treated DPSCs showed an increased mineralized matrix deposition in the presence of osteogenic supplements. Moreover, the level of TGF-β receptor type I and early osteogenic differentiation were abolished in the DPSCs transfected with siRNA for GnT-V knockdown. These results suggest that GnT-V plays a critical role in the hexosamine-induced activation of TGF-β signaling and subsequent osteogenic differentiation of DPSCs.