In the developing tooth, enamel deposition varies among organisms. In omnivorous homo sapiens, enamel strength and quantity is much less than that of a sea otter, who prodominantly feeds on hard shellfish. It is important, then, to understand this pathway that results in this differential deposition of enamel in developing teeth. Stem cells in the developing teeth that express Sox2 travel to the inner enamel epithelium within the developing tooth1. There, they give rise to transit amplifying (TA) cells that rapidly divide, move to the distal tip of the developing tooth, and differentiate into ameloblasts1. Ameloblasts deposit enamel matrix proteins. As a result, Sox2 overexpression could lead to increased enamel deposition and a hardening of teeth.
(1) Li, J., Parada, C., & Chai, Y. (2017). Cellular and molecular mechanisms of tooth root development. Development, 144(3), 374–384. doi: 10.1242/dev.137216