Absence of a transcription factor halts tooth development in mid-stride

Researchers have found a key role in tooth development for the transcription factor Specificity protein 7, or Sp7. Using an animal model, the researchers found that a lack of Sp7 interrupts the maturation of two types of specialized cells that help create teeth. Such basic knowledge about the development of teeth or bones adds to understanding of craniofacial abnormalities, which are among the most common birth defects in humans.

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