Please note: The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio will now be called "UT Health San Antonio."

Search Program Faculty/Research

Shuo Chen, M.D., Ph.D.



Dr. Shuo Chen's lab research interests are focused on several areas:

1) To determine molecular mechanisms of the tissue-specific dentin sialophosphoprotein (DSPP) during tooth development. Mutations of this gene are associated with dentinogenesis imperfecta (DGI). DGI is the most common dentin genetic disorder. We have discovered that domain (s) of DSP as ligands bind to cellular membrane receptor (s) and regulate intracellular signal pathways during odontogenesis. The DSP domains as tissue-specific niches induce dental pulp cell differentiation and dentin regeneration.

2) To determine roles of bone morphogenetic protein 2 (Bmp2) during tooth development. Using Bmp2 conditional knock-out (cKO) animal models, we are studying how Bmp2 signal controls dentin and enamel formation. We have uncovered that Bmp2 regulates tooth formation via a complex signals including epigenetic, transcriptional and posttranslational pathways.

3) To determine biological functions of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) in vitro and in vivo during tooth formation. We found MMP-9 is able to catalyze amelogenin and DSPP into specific fragments in vitro and in vivo. Teeth with MMP-9 null mice display phenotypes similar to amelogenesis imperfeacta (AI) and DGI. Currently, we are studying how this enzyme is involved in extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling for tooth formation.


Yang G, Yuan G, MacDougall M, Zhi C, Chen S. (2017) BMP induced Dspp transcription is mediated by Dlx3/Osx signaling pathway in odontoblasts. Sci Rep. 7(1):10775. (PMID: 28883412 PMCID: PMC558984)

Chen Z, Zhang Q, Wang H, Li W, Wang F, Wan C, Deng S, Chen H, Yin Y, Li X, Xie Z, Chen S. (2017) Klf5 Mediates Odontoblastic Differentiation through Regulating Dentin-Specific Extracellular Matrix Gene Expression during Mouse Tooth Development. Sci Rep. 7:46746. (PMID: 28440310, PMCID:PMC5404268).

Li W, Chen L, Chen Z, Wu L, Feng J, Wang F, Shoff L, Li X, Donly KJ, MacDougall M, Chen S. (2017) Dentin sialoprotein facilitates dental mesenchymal cell differentiation and dentin formation. Sci Rep. 7(1):300. (PMID: 28331230; PMCID: PMC5428264).

Yuan G, Chen L, Feng J, Yang G, Ni Q, Xu X, Wan C, Lindsey M, Donly KJ, MacDougall M, Chen Z, Chen S. (2017). Dentin Sialoprotein is a Novel Substrate of Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 in vitro and in vivo. Sci Rep. 7: 42449. (PMID: 28195206; PMCID: PMC5307955).

Wan C, Yuan G, Luo D, Zhang L, Lin H, Liu H, Chen L, Yang G, Chen S,* Chen Z*. (2016). The Dentin Sialoprotein (DSP) Domain Regulates Dental Mesenchymal Cell Differentiation through a Novel Surface Receptor. *Corresponding authors, Sci Rep. 6:29666. (PMID: 27430624; PMCID: PMC4949421).

Wu, L, Feng Wang, F, Donly, KJ, Baker, A, Wan, C, Luo, D, MacDougall, M, Chen, S. (2016).Establishment of Immortalized BMP2/4 Double Knock-Out Osteoblastic Cells is Essential for Study of Osteoblast Growth, Differentiation and Osteogenesis.. J Cell Physiol. 231:1189-1198. (PMID: 26595646, PMCID: PMC4784166; DOI:10.1002/jcp.25266).

He YD, Sui BD, Li M, Huang J, Chen S, Wu LA. (2016). Site-specific function and regulation of Osterix in tooth root formation. Int Endod J. 49(12):1124-1131 (PMID: 26599722 PMCID: PMC5005108)

Chen, Z, Li, W, Wang, H, Deng,S, Chen, H, Chen, S (2016). Klf10 regulates odontoblast differentiation and mineralization via promoting expression of dentin matrix protein 1 and dentin sialophosphoprotein genes. Cell Tissue Res. 363(2):385-98. (PMID: 26310138; PMCID: PMC5006385).

Wu, L, Feng Wang, F, Donly, KJ, Wan, C, Luo, Harris, SE, MacDougall, M, Chen, S. (2015). Establishment of Immortalized Mouse Bmp2 Knock-out Dental Papilla Mesenchymal Cells Necessary for Study of Odontoblastic Differentiation and Odontogenesis. J. Cell Physiol. 230:2588-2595.

Liu C, Wang X, Zhang H, Xie X, Liu P, Liu Y, Jani PH, Lu Y, Chen S, and Qin C (2015). Immortalized Mouse Floxed Fam20c Dental Papillar Mesenchymal and Osteoblast Cell Lines Retain Their Primary Characteristics. J. Cell Physiol.230:2581-2587.

Developmental Dentistry


Ph.D., Molecular Biology, The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, 1997

M.D., Neuroanatomy, Fujain Medical College, 1986

M.D., Medicine, Fuijain Medical College, 1978



Phone: (210) 567-3511

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