International Mammalian Genome Society

The 15th International Mouse Genome Conference (2001)


Mr Georg Buechner
Department of Craniofacial Development
Guy's tower 28th Floor
Guy's hospital
London SE1 9RT

Co-Author:  Sharpe PT
Institution:   Guy's hospital

Current research in Prof. Sharpe's lab is focused on understanding the molecular control of odontogenesis Prof. Sharpe has proposed the so-called homeobox-code model to explain the segmental patterning and shape differences between the different types of tooth.  In this model it is proposed that tooth shape and position are specified by the combinatorial action of different homeobox genes expressed in neural crest derived facial mesenchyme. My project is to study the effects of manipulating the expression of one of the homeobox genes known to be involved in odontogenesis: Barx1. The proximal expression of Barx1 in the molar-specific mesenchymal regions of the first branchial arch, prior to the initiation of tooth development, seems to drive the formation of the molars.

My project will test these hypothesis by: 1Generating of  a Barx1 knock-out. I have obtained 6 positive Es clones that are currently been inject into blatocyst .2        Ectopic expression of Barx1 in the incisor region using an IRES-GFP expression vector. This project involves the electroporation of a Barx1 expression vector in the incisor region of dissected E10 mandibles. I have obtained widespread ectopic expression of Barx-1 in the mesenchyme of the incisor region. I am now culturing these explants for 14 days in mouse renal capsule for tooth development to progress  so that any change of incisor identity can be studied. I am also performing a molecular analysis using key genes known to be involved in tooth development.

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