Genetic Regulation of Amelogenesis and Implications for Hominin Ancestors

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Histological analysis of mammalian enamel reveals a characteristic pattern of development that has been linked to daily growth increments. This daily growth has contributed to interpretations of the biology of early hominins. Recent studies have attempted to identify a molecular mechanism to explain this daily enamel growth. These data suggest that the circadian clock is a likely modulator of genetic activity as enamel forms. In the present study, the process of enamel development is reviewed together with new data on how the circadian clock modulates this process. A hypothesis is proposed to explain possible physiological functions of the enamel clock in post-mitotic ameloblast cells. This information is used to interpret how modifications of the activity of the enamel clock influenced hominin evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDevelopmental Approaches to Human Evolution
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781118524756
ISBN (Print)9781118524688
StatePublished - Nov 20 2015


  • Amelogenin
  • Circadian clock
  • Cross striations
  • Daily growth
  • Enamel
  • Hominins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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