Tooth enamel is mineralized through the differentiation of multiple dental epithelia including ameloblasts and the stratum intermedium (SI), and this differentiation is controlled by several signaling pathways. Previously, we demonstrated that the transcriptional coactivator Mediator 1 (MED1) plays a critical role in enamel formation. For instance, conditional ablation of Med1 in dental epithelia causes functional changes in incisor-specific dental epithelial stem cells, resulting in mineralization defects in the adult incisors. However, the molecular mechanism by which Med1 deficiency causes these abnormalities is not clear. Here, we demonstrated that Med1 ablation causes early SI differentiation defects resulting in enamel hypoplasia of the Med1-deficient molars. Med1 deletion prevented Notch1-mediated differentiation of the SI cells resulting in decreased alkaline phosphatase (ALPL), which is essential for mineralization. However, it does not affect the ability of ameloblasts to produce enamel matrix proteins. Using the dental epithelial SF2 cell line, we demonstrated that MED1 directly activates transcription of the Alpl gene through the stimulation of Notch1 signaling by forming a complex with cleaved Notch1–RBP-Jk on the Alpl promoter. These results suggest that MED1 may be essential for enamel matrix mineralization by serving as a coactivator for Notch1 signaling regulating transcription of the Alpl gene.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology