Int. J. Dev. Biol. 43: 509 - 516 (1999)
© UPV/EHU Press

Spatial and temporal activity of the dentin sialophosphoprotein gene promoter: differential regulation in odontoblasts and ameloblasts.

T L Sreenath, A Cho, M MacDougall and A B Kulkarni

Functional Genomics Unit, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda 20892, MD, USA.

ABSTRACT Dentin sialoprotein and dentin phosphoprotein are non-collagenous proteins that are cleavage products of dentin sialophosphoprotein (DSPP). Although these two protein products are believed to have a crucial role in the process of tooth mineralization, their precise biological functions and the molecular mechanisms of gene regulation are not clearly understood. To understand such functions, we have developed a transgenic mouse model expressing a reporter gene (lacZ) under the control of approximately 6 kb upstream sequences of Dspp. The transgenic fusion protein was designed to reside within the cells to facilitate the precise identification of cell type and developmental stages at which the Dspp-lacZ gene is expressed. The results presented in this report demonstrate: (a) the 6 kb upstream sequences of Dspp have the necessary regulatory elements to direct the tissue specific expression of the transgene similar to endogenous Dspp, (b) both odontoblasts and ameloblasts exhibit transgene expression in a differentiation dependent manner, and (c) a differential regulation of the transgene in odontoblasts and ameloblasts occurs during tooth development and mineralization.