Amelogenin Knockout Mice and Use as Models for Tooth Disease


This technology relates to transgenic knockout mice that may serve as an animal model for dental disease. Using gene-targeting techniques, mice have been created which are disrupted for the amelogenin gene. These mice lack the amelogenin protein, which is normally expressed only in the teeth. Since these mice lack this protein, they are expected to mimic an inherited tooth disorder called "amelogenesis imperfecta (AI)". AI is an inherited condition that is transmitted as a dominant trait and causes the enamel of the tooth to be soft and thin resulting in discoloration, disintegration and disfigurement of the teeth. The damaged teeth are also susceptible to decay. The amelogenin knockout mice display an interesting tooth phenotype. Their maxillary incisors are chalky white in color and opaque in appearance. These changes are associated with mild attrition of incisor tips and molar cusps. Detailed analysis of this phenotype is in progress.

The amelogenin knockout mice may be used as an animal model to develop therapeutic approaches to AI.

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Updated: Jun 16, 2010