Downregulation of Salivary Proteins, Protective against Dental Caries, in Type 1 Diabetes
Saliva, an essential oral secretion involved in protecting the oral cavity’s hard and soft tissues, is readily available and straightforward to collect. Recent studies have analyzed the salivary proteome in children and adolescents with extensive carious lesions to identify diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers. The current study aimed to investigate saliva’s diagnostic ability through proteomics to detect the potential differential expression of proteins specific for the occurrence of carious lesions. For this study, we performed bioinformatics and functional analysis of proteomic datasets, previously examined by our group, from samples of adolescents with regulated and unregulated type 1 diabetes, as they compare with healthy controls. Among the differentially expressed proteins relevant to caries pathology, alpha-amylase 2B, beta-defensin 4A, BPI fold containing family B member 2, protein S100-A7, mucin 5B, statherin, salivary proline-rich protein 2, and interleukin 36 gamma were significantly downregulated in poorly-controlled patients compared to healthy subjects. In addition, significant biological pathways (defense response to the bacterium, beta-defensin activity, proline-rich protein activity, oxygen binding, calcium binding, and glycosylation) were deregulated in this comparison, highlighting specific molecular characteristics in the cariogenic process. This analysis contributes to a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in caries vulnerability in adolescents with unregulated diabetes.