Expression patterns of WNT/β-CATENIN signaling molecules during human tooth development
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The WNT/β-CATENIN signaling has been demonstrated to play critical roles in mouse tooth development, but little is known about the status of these molecules in human embryonic tooth. In this study, expression patterns of WNT/β-CATENIN signaling components, including WNT ligands (WNT3, WNT5A), receptors (FZD4, FZD6, LRP5), transducers (β-CATENIN), transcription factors (TCF4, LEF1) and antagonists (DKK1, SOSTDC1) were investigated in human tooth germ at the bud, cap and bell stages by in situ hybridization. All these genes exhibited similar but slightly distinct expression patterns in human tooth germ in comparison with mouse. Furthermore the mRNA expression of these genes in incisors and molars at the bell stage was also examined by real-time PCR. Our results reveal the status of active WNT/β-CATENIN signaling in the human tooth germ and suggest these components may also play an essential role in the regulation of human tooth development.
KeywordsWNT/β-CATENIN signaling Human tooth germ Gene expression Transcriptional factors Growth factors
We would like to thank the Hospital for Women and Children of Fujian Province for providing aborted human embryonic tissues for this research. This study was supported by Grants from the Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (No. 81200761), Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province (2011J01146), Doctoral Program of Higher Education of China (20123503120005), Scientific Research Fund of Fujian Provincial Education Department (JA12081), and Excellent Young key Teachers Program of Fujian Normal University (fjsdjk2012077).
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