Background: Tooth development relies on interactions between epithelial and mesenchymal
tissues, which are controlled by sophisticated networks of conserved signaling. The signaling networks
regulating odontogenesis have been well characterized, but the epigenetic mechanisms underlying
remain to be elucidated.
Objective: In this review, we describe current researches regarding the control of various genes expression
by DNA methylation during odontogenesis, summarize genomic mapping of DNA methylation in
various stages of tooth formation and diverse dental tissues by high-throughput approaches, and highlight
the roles of DNA methylation in odontogenesis.
Results: Researches on mammals have revealed that the genomic methylation, which occurs on cytosine
residues, regulates certain genes transcription. Consequently, DNA methylation plays a crucial
role in spatiotemporal organization of signaling pathways, and is essential for organogenesis. Recently,
mounting evidence proves that methylation of genomes contributes to the spatiotemporal gene dynamics
during odontogenesis. With emerging new technologies of mapping cytosine modifications in
global genome, investigators are seeking an overall view of DNA methylome dynamics that characterize
genetic information to manifest across incredibly varied tooth development stages, dental tissues,
and developmental dental defects.