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Sonic Hedgehog Signaling and Development of the Dentition

Centre for Craniofacial and Regenerative Biology, King’s College London Dental Institute, Floor 27, Guy’s Hospital, London SE1 9RT, UK
Department of Orthodontics, King’s College London Dental Institute, Floor 22, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London SE1 9RT, UK
Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, Alfred Denny Building, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Henk Roelink and Simon J. Conway
J. Dev. Biol. 2017, 5(2), 6;
Received: 4 May 2017 / Revised: 25 May 2017 / Accepted: 28 May 2017 / Published: 31 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Collection Hedgehog Signaling in Embryogenesis)
PDF [3861 KB, uploaded 31 May 2017]


Sonic hedgehog (Shh) is an essential signaling peptide required for normal embryonic development. It represents a highly-conserved marker of odontogenesis amongst the toothed vertebrates. Signal transduction is involved in early specification of the tooth-forming epithelium in the oral cavity, and, ultimately, in defining tooth number within the established dentition. Shh also promotes the morphogenetic movement of epithelial cells in the early tooth bud, and influences cell cycle regulation, morphogenesis, and differentiation in the tooth germ. More recently, Shh has been identified as a stem cell regulator in the continuously erupting incisors of mice. Here, we review contemporary data relating to the role of Shh in odontogenesis, focusing on tooth development in mammals and cartilaginous fishes. We also describe the multiple actions of this signaling protein at the cellular level. View Full-Text
Keywords: odontogenesis; initiation; patterning; dental mesenchymal stem cells; tooth number odontogenesis; initiation; patterning; dental mesenchymal stem cells; tooth number

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Seppala, M.; Fraser, G.J.; Birjandi, A.A.; Xavier, G.M.; Cobourne, M.T. Sonic Hedgehog Signaling and Development of the Dentition. J. Dev. Biol. 2017, 5, 6.

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