Time-course of gene expression during murine tooth development
Mapping of gene expression & statistical analysis of time-course gene expression data. Bioinformatic analysis of differentially expressed genes.
About the project
During murine tooth development substantial developmental changes occur within a time-span of 24hrs. From E11.5 up to P5, i.e. in the course of about 16 days the tooth germ has developed from oral epithelium into a phenotypic molar tooth exhibiting extensive mineralisation. The developing murine tooth germ is therefore an excellent model for studying differentiation. For the tooth germ this entails establishment of dentition patterning, differentiation of ectomesenchymal cells into dentin-producing odontoblasts and epithelial cells into enamel-producing ameloblasts and development of tooth morphology as essential features Very limited data are available as regards tooth developmenent.The numbers and types of genes involved, however, likely to be dynamic depending on the developmental stage. Most of these genes are have probably not been previously mapped with respect to odontogenesis, and many genes with unknown functions are also likely expressed. Additionally, miRNAs are also known to be involved also during tooth development providing an additional layer of complexity.
The profiling of genes expressed at various stages during tooth development should help our understanding of cellular processes driving development of the tooth germ. We have therefore mapped gene expression in the developing murine first molar tooth germ at 24hr intervals, starting at E11.5 ending at P7. Gene expression profiling was carried out using microarrays with RNA extracted from whole tooth germs removed at the 16 different developmental stages. The resulting expression data was subsequently assembled into a single data file, facilitating analysis of the time-course of expression profiles of the various expressed genes. Expression data for selected genes was validated using real-time RT-PCR, immunohistochemstry or Western blotting.