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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A substractive PCR-based cDNA library from human odontoblast cells: identification of novel genes expressed in tooth forming cells.

Odontoblasts are highly specialized cells aligned at the edge of the dental pulp. As a step towards understanding the complex mechanisms underlying their terminal differentiation, the gene expression pattern was examined in human cultured odontoblast cells. Suppression substractive hybridization (SSH) was used to establish a substracted cDNA library specific for human odontoblasts. For this purpose, cDNAs from human cultured fibroblastic pulp cells were substracted to cDNA from human cultured odontoblasts. The nucleotide sequence of 154 substracted cDNA clones was determined. We identified 130 preferentially expressed gene fragments in odontoblasts as compared with the fibroblastic pulp cells. Ten of them were already identified in odontoblasts such as DSPP, BSP, enamelysin and Col1A1. We confirmed their overexpression by RT-PCR on the cultured cells and in vivo by in situ hybridization on human molars. Another 64 clones corresponded to known genes. Among them, two clones were of particular interest: reelin, which was first detected in the brain and osteoadherin, which was first located in bone. Fifty-six clones were unknown genes even though 82% matched expressed sequence tags or genomic clones. A reverse Northern dot blot showed that 96% of them were overexpressed at different rates in cultured odontoblasts. These latest results indicate that there are still unknown genes that are associated with the control of the odontoblast phenotype. Thus, cloning of odontoblast differentiation-associated genes not only opens up new methods of elucidating the normal development but also the recruitment of odontoblasts when required to initiate repair of dentin.[1]


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