Frank G. Oppenheim, DMD, PhD
Emeritus Professor
Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine
Dept of Molecular & Cell Biology

DDM, University of Zurich
DDS, University of Zurich
DMD, Boston University
PhD, Boston University



The work of my laboratory focuses on the elucidation of structure and function of salivary proteins, which play important role in host defense mechanisms. Structural analysis, peptide biomimetics employing solid phase peptide synthesis and recombinant expression methods are being used in the identification of functional domains within proteins. Functional investigations comprise mechanisms related to anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and mineral homeostasis. Emphasis on these processes is aimed at understanding the basic physiology of hard and soft tissue protection in the oral environment. Proteins such as the histatins, the proline-rich proteins and statherin are examples of proteins unique to the oral cavity. For example, the discovery of the histatin protein family showed that these small basic proteins are rich in histidine, exhibit anti-microbial properties, contain specific functional domains, and are able to kill yeasts by entering cells and target mitochondria. The mechanisms of cell death is being studied. and it has been shown that the killing effect of histatins is related to the inhibition of the respiratory chain leading to the formation reactive oxygen radicals. Other studies in progress comprise the identification and characterization of salivary protein which show selective adsorption to hydroxyapaptite forming a unique protein film on the mineral surfaces of teeth. This protein film determines de- and re-mineralization processes and dictates the early events of microbial colonization.. These studies include biophysical techniques such as NMR and mass spectrometry. Approaches of proteomics are being used to characterize proteins and peptides formed on mineral surfaces in vivo.


Boston Medical Center




Microbicidal Salivary Histidine-Rich Proteins
04/01/1986 - 11/30/2014 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research
5R01DE007652-24

Structure and Function of Human Salivary Mucins
08/01/1996 - 05/31/2010 (Co-PI)
NIH/National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research
2 R01 DE11691 09A2

Postdoctoral Training in Oral Biology
07/01/1999 - 08/31/2005 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research
5 T32 DE07206 15




Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs
2012 Microbicidal Salivary Histidine-Rich Proteins 5R01DE007652-24 103
2011 Microbicidal Salivary Histidine-Rich Proteins 5R01DE007652-23 103
2011 Microbicidal Salivary Histidine-Rich Proteins 5R01DE007652-23 103
2010 Microbicidal Salivary Histidine-Rich Proteins 5R01DE007652-22 103
2009 Microbicidal Salivary Histidine-Rich Proteins 2R01DE007652-21A1 103
2009 Salivary Proteins in Dental Integuments 5R01DE005672-27 17
2008 PROTEINS IN THE ORAL FLUIDS AND TOOTH PELLICLE LAYER 5P41RR010888-12-5192 236
2008 Salivary Proteins in Dental Integuments 5R01DE005672-26 17
2007 PROTEINS IN THE ORAL FLUIDS AND TOOTH PELLICLE LAYER 2P41RR010888-11-8013 236
2007 STUDIES OF HUMAN TOOTH INTEGUMENTS 2M01RR000533-39-8207 429
Showing 10 of 82 results. Show All Results
Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

  1. Alevizos I, Zheng C, Cotrim AP, Liu S, McCullagh L, Billings ME, Goldsmith CM, Tandon M, Helmerhorst EJ, Catalán MA, Danielides SJ, Perez P, Nikolov NP, Chiorini JA, Melvin JE, Oppenheim FG, Illei GG, Baum BJ. Late responses to adenoviral-mediated transfer of the aquaporin-1 gene for radiation-induced salivary hypofunction. Gene Ther. 2017 Mar; 24(3):176-186.View Related Profiles. PMID: 27996967; DOI: 10.1038/gt.2016.87;.
  2. Heller D, Helmerhorst EJ, Oppenheim FG. Saliva and Serum Protein Exchange at the Tooth Enamel Surface. J Dent Res. 2017 Apr; 96(4):437-443.View Related Profiles. PMID: 27879420; DOI: 10.1177/0022034516680771;.
  3. Heller D, Helmerhorst EJ, Gower AC, Siqueira WL, Paster BJ, Oppenheim FG. Microbial Diversity in the Early In Vivo-Formed Dental Biofilm. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2016 Jan 08; 82(6):1881-8.View Related Profiles. PMID: 26746720; PMCID: PMC4784052; DOI: 10.1128/AEM.03984-15;.
  4. Nie S, Zhang H, Mayer KM, Oppenheim FG, Little FF, Greenberg J, Uluer AZ, Walt DR. Correlations of salivary biomarkers with clinical assessments in patients with cystic fibrosis. PLoS One. 2015; 10(8):e0135237. PMID: 26258476; PMCID: PMC4530931; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135237;.
  5. Trindade F, Oppenheim FG, Helmerhorst EJ, Amado F, Gomes PS, Vitorino R. Uncovering the molecular networks in periodontitis. Proteomics Clin Appl. 2014 Oct; 8(9-10):748-61.View Related Profiles. PMID: 24828325; PMCID: PMC4426160; DOI: 10.1002/prca.201400028;.
  6. 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 Jul; 37(14):1896-902.View Related Profiles. PMID: 24771659; PMCID: PMC4419831; DOI: 10.1002/jssc.201400227;.
  7. 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 Mar 21; 14(6):1087-98. PMID: 24448498; PMCID: PMC3996899; DOI: 10.1039/c3lc51303c;.
  8. 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.View Related Profiles. PMID: 24591293; PMCID: PMC3988626; DOI: 10.1177/0022034514526599;.
  9. 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; 9(1):e84449.View Related Profiles. PMID: 24409298; PMCID: PMC3883659; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0084449;.
  10. Fernandez-Feo M, Wei G, Blumenkranz G, Dewhirst FE, Schuppan D, Oppenheim FG, Helmerhorst EJ. The cultivable human oral gluten-degrading microbiome and its potential implications in coeliac disease and gluten sensitivity. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2013 Sep; 19(9):E386-94.View Related Profiles. PMID: 23714165; PMCID: PMC3749263; DOI: 10.1111/1469-0691.12249;.
Showing 10 of 142 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 131 publications over 36 distinct years, with a maximum of 15 publications in 2001

YearPublications
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700 Albany St Ctr for Adv Biomed Res
Boston MA 02118
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