Bmp signaling in molar cusp formation

Fumiya Meguro, Thantrira Porntaveetus, Maiko Kawasaki, Katsushige Kawasaki, Akane Yamada, Yoshito Kakihara, Makio Saeki, Koichi Tabeta, John A. Kessler, Takeyasu Maeda, Atsushi Ohazama*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Tooth cusp is a crucial structure, since the shape of the molar tooth is determined by number, shape, and size of the cusp. Bone morphogenetic protein (Bmp) signaling is known to play a critical role in tooth development, including in initiation. However, it remains unclear whether Bmp signaling is also involved in cusp formation. To address this question, we examined cusp in two different transgenic mouse lines: mice with overexpression of Bmp4 (K14-Bmp4), and those with Bmp inhibitor, Noggin, (K14-Noggin) under keratin14 (K14) promoter. K14-Noggin mice demonstrated extra cusps, whereas reduced number of cusps was observed in K14-Bmp4 mice. To further understand how Bmps are expressed during cusp formation, we performed whole-mount in situ hybridisation analysis of three major Bmps (Bmp2, Bmp4, and Bmp7) in murine maxillary and mandibular molars from E14.5 to P3. The linear expressions of Bmp2 and Bmp4 were observed in both maxillary and mandibular molars at E14.5. The expression patterns of Bmp2 and Bmp4 became significantly different between the maxillary and mandibular molars at E16.5. At P3, all Bmps were expressed in all the cusp regions of the maxillary molar; however, the patterns differed. All Bmps thus exhibited dynamic temporo-spatial expression during the cusp formation. It could therefore be inferred that Bmp signaling is involved in regulating cusp formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-71
Number of pages5
JournalGene Expression Patterns
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • Bmp
  • K14
  • Noggin
  • Tooth development
  • cusp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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