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    We herein report that deletion of mTOR in dental epithelia caused defective development of multiple cell layers of the enamel organ, which culminated in tooth malformation and cystogenesis. Specifically, cells of the stellate reticulum and stratum intermedium were poorly formed, resulting in cystic changes. The pre-ameloblasts failed to elongate along the apical-basal axis and persisted vigorous expression of Sox2 and P63, which are normally downregulated during cytodifferentiation. Expression of amelogenic markers was also attenuated in mutants. Cell proliferation and cell sizes in mutants were significantly reduced over time. Importantly, we found reduced amounts and aberrant aggregations of cytoskeletal components in mutants, along with attenuated expression of cytoskeleton regulator Cdc42, whose epithelial deletion causes a similar phenotype. Moreover, disruption of actin assembly in an organ culture system affected cell proliferation and cytodifferentiation of tooth germs, supporting a causative role of mTOR-regulated cytoskeleton dynamics for the observed phenotype of mTOR mutant mice. In further support of this view, we showed that mTOR overactivation caused increased cytoskeletal component synthesis and assembly, along with accelerated cytodifferentiation in the enamel organ. Finally, we demonstrated that mTOR regulated enamel organ development principally through the mTORC1 pathway. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Xuguang Nie, Jinxuan Zheng, Michael Cruciger, Peixin Yang, Jeremy J Mao. mTOR plays a pivotal role in multiple processes of enamel organ development principally through the mTORC1 pathway and in part via regulating cytoskeleton dynamics. Developmental biology. 2020 Nov 01;467(1-2):77-87

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    PMID: 32866472

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