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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007 Aug 3;359(3):549-55. Epub 2007 May 30.

Rudiment incisors survive and erupt as supernumerary teeth as a result of USAG-1 abrogation.

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  • 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan.


The term "supernumerary teeth" describes production of more than the normal number of teeth in the primary or permanent dentitions. Their aetiology is not understood. Uterine sensitization associated gene-1 (USAG-1) is a BMP antagonist that plays important roles in the local regulation of BMP signaling by binding and neutralizing BMP activities, and also serves as a modulator of Wnt signaling. We report here that USAG-1 deficient mice have supernumerary teeth. The supernumerary maxillary incisor appears to form as a result of the successive development of the rudimentary upper incisor tooth. We confirmed that the USAG-1 expression is localized to the epithelium and mesenchyme of the rudimentary maxillary incisor tooth organ formation. USAG-1 abrogation rescued apoptotic elimination of odontogenic mesenchymal cells. Based upon these results, we conclude that USAG-1 controls the number of teeth in the maxillary incisor region by regulating apoptosis.

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