Smad3 is required for enamel biomineralization

Masahiko Yokozeki, Elaine Afanador, Masumi Nishi, Kazuyuki Kaneko, Hitoyata Shimokawa, Koutaro Yokote, Chuxia Deng, Kunihiro Tsuchida, Hiromu Sugino, Keiji Moriyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Smad3 is an intracellular signaling molecule that mediates the signal from transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) and activin receptors. In this study, we reveal hypomineralized enamel in mice with the targeted deletion of the Smad3 gene. The Smad3 (-/-) mice had chalky white incisor enamel, while the enamel of the wild-type or Smad3 (+/-) mice was yellow-brown. Histological analysis of the undecalcified sections showed that the enamel thickness of the maxillary incisors in the Smad3 (-/-) mice was similar to that of the wild-type and Smad3 (+/-) mice while that the enamel of the maxillary molars in Smad3 (-/-) mice was disrupted in places. Microcomputed tomography (μCT) analysis revealed that the mineralization of the maxillary incisors and mandibular molars in the Smad3 (-/-) mice showed significant reduction in the degree of mineralization when compared to that of the wild-type and Smad3 (+/-) mice. Scanning electron microscopic (SEM) analysis of the mandibular incisors revealed that the enamel surface of the Smad3 (-/-) mice was irregular and disrupted in places and showed images similar to decalcified mature enamel. The histological analysis of the decalcified sections showed that distinct morphological changes in the ameloblasts at the secretory and maturational stages were not observed between the Smad3 (-/-) and Smad3 (+/-) or wild-type mice, while the enamel matrix was observed in the decalcified sections of the mandibular molars in the Smad3 (-/-) mice. These results suggested that Smad3 was required for enamel biomineralization, and TGF-β and activin signaling might be critical for its process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)684-690
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 06-06-2003
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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