Recently, researchers have found an antibody that can help stimulate the regrowth of teeth. By deterring the USAG-1 gene’s action, the antibody has the ability to increase the availability of certain growth factors, which, in turn, could eventually help people grow new sets of teeth.
An IFL Science article stated that this discovery could potentially render false teeth extinct. In the “Anti-USAG-1 therapy for tooth regeneration through enhanced BMP signaling” study that was published in Science Advances, a team of researchers genetically altered test mice and gave them tooth agenesis, an illness where some teeth don’t develop.
They injected pregnant mice that had this disorder with USAG-1, and their offspring developed their teeth normally. Additionally, a single injection of this new antibody led to the growth of new teeth in regular mice.
The study authors targeted the USAG-1 gene because it has the ability to stop two signaling molecules known as Wnt and BMP, both of which help in teeth development. Nevertheless, since these two components also assist in the growth of several other organs, interfering how with how they work could lead to many other severe side effects.
The researchers, during their experiments, tested a wide array of monoclonal antibodies that can modify the antibody’s ability to interact or engage with the Wnt and BMP molecules. Although, a lot of these resulted in severe side effects. Though, they eventually came across an antibody that had the ability to prevent the gene from interacting with BMP.
Benefiting Tooth Growth
In doing so, the researchers could now stimulate tooth growth without producing the other unwanted impacts. Based on what they found, study authors concluded that the USAG-1 gene inhibits the growth of teeth by binding itself to BMP, which eventually decreases its activity.