Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dentistry Of Future? Gene Responsible For Formation Of Enamel Discovered

Date:
March 3, 2009
Source:
University of Zurich
Summary:
Scientists have identified a gene responsible for the formation of enamel, which is the key component of the teeth. The experiments were accomplished in mice carrying a deletion of the transcription factor Tbx1, a gene that plays a principal role in several human malformations (heart, thymus, parathyroid, face, and teeth) associated to the DiGeorge syndrome.

A normal mature mouse incisor is shown on the top, where ameloblasts (am) that produce enamel (e) is clearly visible. On the bottom is a mature incisor with the Tbx1 gene deleted, and no enamel and ameloblasts were able to form.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Zurich

A team of researchers lead by Professor Dr Thimios Mitsiadis at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, has identified a gene responsible for the formation of enamel, which is the key component of the teeth. The experiments were accomplished in mice carrying a deletion of the transcription factor Tbx1, a gene that plays a principal role in several human malformations (heart, thymus, parathyroid, face, and teeth) associated to the DiGeorge syndrome.

Related Articles


"Subjects afflicted by DiGeorge syndrome exhibit teeth with enamel defects. We have demonstrated that a direct link between impaired Tbx1 function and enamel defects exists. Enamel forms via the mineralization of specific enamel proteins that are secreted by dental epithelial cells called ameloblasts. Our results clearly show that teeth of Tbx1 null mice lacked enamel and ameloblasts," explains Prof Mitsiadis.

These findings, just published in Development Biology, represent a major contribution to the understanding of the production of enamel, the "hardest organic tissue" found in nature.

An American group of researchers from the University of Oregon have also shown a relationship between another transcription factor (Ctip2) and the production of enamel, but in the words of Prof Mitsiadis "our investigations better demonstrate the lack of enamel in teeth. Because of the early lethality of the Tbx1 mutant mice, we have used long-term culture techniques that allow the unharmed growth of teeth until their full maturity. No such studies were performed from our American colleagues."

Could dental treatment benefit in the future from this revolutionary study? The answer is definitively "yes." "The understanding of the genetic code controlling tooth development and repair will permit us to imagine and generate new products and replacement tissues for injured and unhealthy teeth. However the requirements for functional tooth repair and/or formation are complex. Yet, a single approach has not allowed an effective clinical therapy," says Prof Mitsiadis.

Is it possible to use dental stem cells to stimulate the growth of new enamel? This represents the biggest challenge in the discipline of tooth engineering. "Our results show that Tbx1 is involved in the maintenance of dental epithelial stem cells that are responsible for ameloblast formation. In some cases of genetic tooth anomalies, regeneration and repair of teeth could be treated by stem cells. Aggregates of dental stem cells could be used in the future for local transplantation in the dental tissues," explains Prof Mitsiadis


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Zurich. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Zurich. "Dentistry Of Future? Gene Responsible For Formation Of Enamel Discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090226110814.htm>.
University of Zurich. (2009, March 3). Dentistry Of Future? Gene Responsible For Formation Of Enamel Discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090226110814.htm
University of Zurich. "Dentistry Of Future? Gene Responsible For Formation Of Enamel Discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090226110814.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins