We report for the first time a masticatory-lubrication assay system to assess the lubricating properties of salivary constituents. The lubricating ability of the proline-rich glycoprotein (PRG) of parotid saliva was enhanced by human serum albumin. The interactive effect of albumin was abolished by chemically deglycosylating the glycoprotein. Fluorescence spectroscopy with a hydrophobic probe verified the existence of a PRG-albumin complex and demonstrated that deglycosylation of the PRG altered the nature of its interaction with albumin.

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