Transcription Factor found that Controls Ameloblast Function (Enamel Production)

Scientists at Oregon State University have found a gene involved in enamel production.
In the latest research, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team led by Chrissa Kioussi and Mark Leid bred mice that lacked a gene known as Ctip2. The gene, called Ctip2, is a “transcription factor” that was already known to have several functions – in immune response, and the development of skin and the nervous system. Scientists can now add tooth development to that list. The discovery was made after researchers noticed that mice born without the gene grew teeth lacking enamel.
By understanding the genetics of tooth development, Kioussi said it may be possible to repair damaged enamel and even produce new teeth in the laboratory.
Paul Sharpe, an expert on tooth development at the Dental Institute at King`s College London, said: “If you could find some way of growing ameloblasts that make enamel, you could find a way to repair teeth.
“Any gene like this is worth understanding. The more we learn about it the more we can use the information to make biological models of tooth repair.”

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