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J Biol Chem. 2001 Apr 6;276(14):11016-20. Epub 2000 Dec 14.

Reduced expression of dentin sialophosphoprotein is associated with dysplastic dentin in mice overexpressing transforming growth factor-beta 1 in teeth.

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  • 1Functional Genomics Unit and Gene Targeting Facility, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1 is expressed in developing tooth from the initiation stage through adulthood. Odontoblast-specific expression of TGF-beta1 in the tooth continues throughout life; however, the precise biological functions of this growth factor in the odontoblasts are not clearly understood. Herein, we describe the generation of transgenic mice that overexpress active TGF-beta1 predominantly in the odontoblasts. Teeth of these mice show a significant reduction in the tooth mineralization, defective dentin formation, and a relatively high branching of dentinal tubules. Dentin extracellular matrix components such as type I and III collagens are increased and deposited abnormally in the dental pulp, similar to the hereditary human tooth disorders such as dentin dysplasia and dentinogenesis imperfecta. Calcium, one of the crucial inorganic components of mineralization, is also apparently increased in the transgenic mouse teeth. Most importantly, the expression of dentin sialophosphoprotein (dspp), a candidate gene implicated in dentinogenesis imperfecta II (MIM 125420), is significantly down-regulated in the transgenic teeth. Our results provide in vivo evidence suggesting that TGF-beta1 mediated expression of dspp is crucial for dentin mineralization. These findings also provide for the first time a direct experimental evidence indicating that decreased dspp gene expression along with the other cellular changes in odontoblasts may result in human hereditary dental disorders like dentinogenesis imperfecta II (MIM 125420) and dentin dysplasia (MIM 125400 and 125420).

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