Send to

Choose Destination
Dev Biol. 2012 Jul 15;367(2):140-53. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2012.04.029. Epub 2012 May 4.

Ring1a/b polycomb proteins regulate the mesenchymal stem cell niche in continuously growing incisors.

Author information

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


Rodent incisors are capable of growing continuously and the renewal of dental epithelium giving rise to enamel-forming ameloblasts and dental mesenchyme giving rise to dentin-forming odontoblasts and pulp cells is achieved by stem cells residing at their proximal ends. Although the dental epithelial stem cell niche (cervical loop) is well characterized, little is known about the dental mesenchymal stem cell niche. Ring1a/b are the core Polycomb repressive complex1 (PRC1) components that have recently also been found in a protein complex with BcoR (Bcl-6 interacting corepressor) and Fbxl10. During mouse incisor development, we found that genes encoding members of the PRC1 complex are strongly expressed in the incisor apical mesenchyme in an area that contains the cells with the highest proliferation rate in the tooth pulp, consistent with a location for transit amplifying cells. Analysis of Ring1a(-/-);Ring1b(cko/cko) mice showed that loss of Ring1a/b postnatally results in defective cervical loops and disturbances of enamel and dentin formation in continuously growing incisors. To further characterize the defect found in Ring1a(-/-);Ring1b(cko/cko) mice, we demonstrated that cell proliferation is dramatically reduced in the apical mesenchyme and cervical loop epithelium of Ring1a(-/-);Ring1b(cko/cko) incisors in comparison to Ring1a(-/-);Ring1b(fl/fl)cre- incisors. Fgf signaling and downstream targets that have been previously shown to be important in the maintenance of the dental epithelial stem cell compartment in the cervical loop are downregulated in Ring1a(-/-);Ring1b(cko/cko) incisors. In addition, expression of other genes of the PRC1 complex is also altered. We also identified an essential postnatal requirement for Ring1 proteins in molar root formation. These results show that the PRC1 complex regulates the transit amplifying cell compartment of the dental mesenchymal stem cell niche and cell differentiation in developing mouse incisors and is required for molar root formation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center