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Reviewed November 2009

What is the official name of the DSPP gene?

The official name of this gene is “dentin sialophosphoprotein.”

DSPP is the gene's official symbol. The DSPP gene is also known by other names, listed below.

Read more about gene names and symbols on the About page.

What is the normal function of the DSPP gene?

The DSPP gene provides instructions for making a protein called dentin sialophosphoprotein. Soon after it is produced, this protein is cut into two smaller proteins: dentin sialoprotein and dentin phosphoprotein. These proteins are components of dentin, which is a bone-like substance that makes up the protective middle layer of each tooth. A third smaller protein produced from dentin sialophosphoprotein, called dentin glycoprotein, was identified in pigs but has not been found in humans.

Although the exact functions of the DSPP-derived proteins are unknown, these proteins appear to be essential for normal tooth development. Dentin phosphoprotein is thought to be involved in the normal hardening of collagen, the most abundant protein in dentin. Specifically, dentin phosphoprotein may play a role in the deposition of mineral crystals among collagen fibers (mineralization).

The DSPP gene is also active in the inner ear, although it is unclear whether it plays a role in normal hearing.

How are changes in the DSPP gene related to health conditions?

dentinogenesis imperfecta - caused by mutations in the DSPP gene

More than 20 mutations in the DSPP gene have been identified in people with dentinogenesis imperfecta. These genetic changes are responsible for two forms of this disorder, type II and type III. Mutations in this gene also cause dentin dysplasia type II, a disorder with signs and symptoms very similar to those of dentinogenesis imperfecta. However, dentin dysplasia type II affects the primary (baby) teeth much more than the permanent teeth. Some researchers believe that this type of dentin dysplasia and dentinogenesis imperfecta types II and III are actually forms of a single disorder.

About half of DSPP gene mutations affect dentin sialoprotein, altering its transport in cells. The remaining mutations affect dentin phosphoprotein, interfering with its normal production and/or secretion. As a result of these abnormalities of DSPP-related proteins, teeth have abnormally soft dentin. Teeth with defective dentin are discolored, weak, and prone to breakage and decay.

Although the DSPP gene is active in the inner ear, it is unclear whether DSPP gene mutations are related to the hearing loss found in a few older individuals with dentinogenesis imperfecta type II.

Genetics Home Reference provides information about nonsyndromic hearing loss, which is also associated with changes in the DSPP gene.

Where is the DSPP gene located?

Cytogenetic Location: 4q21.3

Molecular Location on chromosome 4: base pairs 87,608,529 to 87,616,873

(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (NCBIThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference.)

The DSPP gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 4 at position 21.3.

The DSPP gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 4 at position 21.3.

More precisely, the DSPP gene is located from base pair 87,608,529 to base pair 87,616,873 on chromosome 4.

See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.

Where can I find additional information about DSPP?

You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about DSPP helpful.

You may also be interested in these resources, which are designed for genetics professionals and researchers.

What other names do people use for the DSPP gene or gene products?

  • dentin glycoprotein
  • dentin phosphophoryn
  • dentin phosphoprotein
  • dentin phosphoryn
  • dentin sialoprotein
  • DFNA39
  • DGI1
  • DGP
  • DPP
  • DSP
  • DTDP2

Where can I find general information about genes?

The Handbook provides basic information about genetics in clear language.

These links provide additional genetics resources that may be useful.

What glossary definitions help with understanding DSPP?

collagen ; dentin ; dentinogenesis ; dysplasia ; gene ; mineral ; phosphoprotein ; protein ; secretion

You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

References (16 links)


The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.

Reviewed: November 2009
Published: February 8, 2016