Expression and function of prion protein during murine tooth development.

Expression and functions of acute phase proteins during murine tooth development.

About the project

Prion protein (PrP) is a glycoprotein found in mammalian tissues, and is encoded by the gene Prnp. It is now widely accepted that transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases, such as scrapie in sheep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle(BSE), or mad cow disease) and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease in humans are caused by a pathological variant of the normal cellular protein (PrPC). The infectious agent is considered to be a misfolded, aggregated version of PrPC known as a prion or PrPSc. Apart from prion diseases, the misfolding and aggregation of proteins into various harmful forms, collectively known as amyloids, cause a range of diseases of both the nervous system and other organs. Immunohistochemical analysis of human teeth shows evidence of PrP in odontoblasts, in cementoblasts. It has been suggested that PrP may have a cellular function during dentinogenesis. Little information is available on the expression of Prnp and on the presence of the prion protein during tooth development. It is known that both absence of expression of Prnp and over-expression of Prnp, cause alteration of mouse dentin morphology. A study of mouse embryos claimed to detect Prnp expression in dental lamina at an early developmental stage (E13.5) and in inner and outer enamel epithelium at a later stage (E16.5. It is therefore of interest to study the expression of Prnp during development of the mouse first molar including the secretory stage of odontogenesis.The the distribution/localization of the prion protein and acute phase proteins during odontogenesis is investigated using immunohistochemistry and is combined with studies of gene expression.


Project has been active for two years; financing by faculty.


Tags: clusterin, Aplp1, immunohistochemistry, prion protein, Prnp, Prp, Cranofacial biology
Published Oct. 1, 2010 3:58 PM - Last modified June 17, 2011 12:12 PM