The Gene Network Underlying Hypodontia

J Dent Res. 2015 Jul;94(7):878-85. doi: 10.1177/0022034515583999. Epub 2015 Apr 24.


Mammalian tooth development is a precise and complicated procedure. Several signaling pathways, such as nuclear factor (NF)-κB and WNT, are key regulators of tooth development. Any disturbance of these signaling pathways can potentially affect or block normal tooth development, and presently, there are more than 150 syndromes and 80 genes known to be related to tooth agenesis. Clarifying the interaction and crosstalk among these genes will provide important information regarding the mechanisms underlying missing teeth. In the current review, we summarize recently published findings on genes related to isolated and syndromic tooth agenesis; most of these genes function as positive regulators of cell proliferation or negative regulators of cell differentiation and apoptosis. Furthermore, we explore the corresponding networks involving these genes in addition to their implications for the clinical management of tooth agenesis. We conclude that this requires further study to improve patients' quality of life in the future.

Keywords: EDA gene; MSX1 gene; PAX9 gene; genotype; phenotype; signal pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anodontia / genetics*
  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Proliferation / genetics
  • Gene Regulatory Networks / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Odontogenesis / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / genetics