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J Dent Res. 1994 Mar;73(3):590-7.

Stage-specific expression of decapentaplegic-Vg-related genes 2, 4, and 6 (bone morphogenetic proteins 2, 4, and 6) during human tooth morphogenesis.

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Department of Oral Pathology, University of Turku, Finland.


Members of the decapentaplegic-Vg-related (DVR) gene family are diffusible signaling molecules regulating inductive tissue interactions during vertebrate development. Expression of DVR/bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) 2, 4, and 6 was studied in human fetal teeth. Sequential morphogenetic stage-specific studies of DVR/BMP 2 and 4 mRNA expression by in situ hybridization revealed transcripts for DVR/BMP 4 during compaction of the dental mesenchyme. In contrast, DVR/BMP 2 mRNA appeared later during tooth development and was located in differentiated cells (odontoblasts). These results were confirmed by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), which detected DVR/BMP 2 and 4 mRNA in human tooth-germ samples. DVR/BMP 6 protein was distributed in the early dental epithelium and, later, in pre-odontoblasts and odontoblasts, where it remained during dentin formation. These results suggest that DVR/BMP 4 is involved in the early tooth morphogenesis. DVR/BMP 6 may, in particular, be implicated in epithelial-mesenchymal interactions controlling cytodifferentiation. DVR/BMP 2 and 6 may also be involved in odontoblast secretory function. The results suggest that members of the DVR gene family may play regulatory roles during human tooth development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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