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Dev Cell. 2004 Feb;6(2):219-27.

A dual role for Ikk alpha in tooth development.

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Department of Craniofacial Development, GKT Dental Institute, King's College, Guy's Hospital, London Bridge, London SE1 9RT, United Kingdom.


IKK alpha is a component of the I kappa B kinase (IKK) complex that plays a key role in the activation of NF-kappa B. In Ikk alpha mutant mice and mice expressing a transdominant negative mutant of I kappa B alpha (cI kappa B alpha Delta N), molars have abnormal cusps, indicating that Ikk alpha is involved in cusp formation through the NF-kappa B pathway. However, Ikk alpha mutant incisors also have an earlier phenotype where epithelium evaginates outward into the developing oral cavity rather than invaginating into the underlying mesenchyme. A similar evagination of epithelium was also observed in whisker development, suggesting that Ikk alpha contributes to the direction of epithelial growth during the early stages of development in many ectodermal appendages. Since cI kappa B alpha Delta N mice have normal incisor epithelial invagination, Ikk alpha's role appears to be NF-kappa B independent. Changes in Notch1, Notch2, Wnt7b, and Shh expression found in incisor epithelium of Ikk alpha mutants suggest that this NF-kappa B-independent function is mediated by Notch/Wnt/Shh signaling pathways.

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