Role of the Notch signalling pathway in tooth morphogenesis

Arch Oral Biol. 2005 Feb;50(2):137-40. doi: 10.1016/j.archoralbio.2004.10.006. Epub 2004 Dec 15.


Notch receptors are involved in cell fate decisions through the process of lateral inhibition or inductive signalling. Jagged2 belongs to the family of transmembrane proteins that serve as the ligands for Notch receptors. We have analysed the expression of the Jagged2 gene in developing mouse teeth. Jagged2 expression is restricted in inner enamel epithelial cells that give rise to the ameloblasts. We have also examined the role of Jagged2 in tooth development using mutant mice that lack the domain of the Jagged2 protein required for interaction with the Notch receptors (DSL domain). Homozygous mutant mice die after birth, exhibit abnormal tooth morphology and fusions between the palatal and mandibular shelves. These results demonstrate that Notch signalling plays an essential role in tooth development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ameloblasts / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Gene Expression
  • Homozygote
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Jagged-2 Protein
  • Membrane Proteins / analysis
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Odontogenesis / physiology*
  • Palate / embryology
  • Receptors, Notch
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Jag2 protein, mouse
  • Jagged-2 Protein
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, Notch