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Dev Dyn. 2008 Jun;237(6):1604-13. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.21567.

The role of transforming growth factor-beta signalling in the patterning of the proximal processes of the murine dentary.

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Department of Craniofacial Development, Kings College London, London, United Kingdom.


The evolution of the novel mammalian jaw articulation has resulted in an increased complexity of the dentary bone, reflecting the multiple roles it now fulfils as the primary bone of the mandible. Signalling through the Tgf-beta type II receptor is important in the development and patterning of the proximal dentary processes, especially the angular process, and secondary cartilages. We show that expression of Tgf-beta2 is associated with the developing angular process, and that the connective tissue marker Scleraxis is co-expressed with Tgf-beta2. Scleraxis expression is lost around the angular process of Tgfbr2 conditional knockouts and Tgf-beta signalling can induce Scleraxis expression in explant culture. Induction of secondary cartilages in explant culture can be prevented by inhibition of Tgf-beta signalling. This study suggests that the proper development of the processes and their secondary cartilages relies on both Tgf-beta signalling and mechanical forces working in concert.

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