- Volume 23 Issue 3
Salivary research is at a critical crossroads regarding the clinical application of the basic knowledge. The purpose of this article is to introduce the current progress on salivary research to Korean dental scientists. The accumulated results based on advance technologies such as protein chemistry, molecular biology, and structural biology have showed that salivary macromolecules need structural requirements for proper function. Currently, several concepts or principles, which can be applied to salivary macromolecules, have been suggested. These include the role of molecules' conformation on biological activity, their multifunctional nature, their redundancy of function, their amphifunctional properties, and the potential importance of complexing between molecules. These concepts and the information available will help the development of saliva substitutes, the design of drug carriers and chimera molecules with enhanced function and the development of gene therapy protocols. These approaches will alleviate or restore lost salivary function and can be used to treat various kinds of oral and systemic diseases.