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.  

Selected Publications

Guo F, Feng J, Wang F, Li W, Gao Q, Chen Z, Shoff L, Donly KJ, Gluhak-Heinrich J, Chun YH, Harris SE, MacDougall M, Chen S. (2014). Bmp2 deletion causes an amelogenesis imperfecta phenotype via regulating enamel gene expression. 2014 Dec 24. doi: 10.1002 J. Cell Physiol. 24915. [Epub ahead of print]

1.Ni Q, Chen S. (2014). Assessing the Effect of Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 on the Growth of Mice Teeth by NMR. J. Biol. Pharma & Chem Res. 1:186-197.

2.Fang Q, Yang W, Li H, Hu W, Chen L, Jiang S, Dong K, Song Q, Wang C, Chen S, Liu F, Jia W. (2014). Negative Regulation of Disulfide-bond A Oxidoreductase-like Protein (DsbA-L) Gene Expression by the Transcription Factor Sp1. Diabetes. 63: 4165-4171.

Yuan G, Zhang L, Yang G, Yang J, Wan C, Zhang L, Song G, Chen S, Chen Z. The distribution and ultrastructure of the forming blood capillaries and the effect of apoptosis on vascularization in mouse embryonic molar mesenchyme. Cell Tissue Res. 2014 Jan 30.

Liu H, Lin H, Zhang L, Sun Q, Yuan G, Zhang L, Chen S, Chen Z. miR-145 and miR-143 regulate odontoblast differentiation through targeting Klf4 and Osx genes in a feedback loop. J Biol Chem. 2013 Mar 29;288(13):9261-71.

Diaz de Guillory C, Schoolfield JD, Johnson D, Yeh CK, Chen S, Cappelli DP, Bober-Moken IG, Dang H. Co-Relationships between glandular salivary flow rates and dental caries. Gerodontology. 2013 Jan 4.

Villar CC, Lin AL, Cao Z, Zhao XR, Wu LA, Chen S, Sun Y, Yeh CK. Anticandidal activity and biocompatibility of a rechargeable antifungal denture material. Oral Dis. 2013 Apr;19(3):287-95.

Mu YD, Xu Z, Contreras CI, McDaniel JS, Donly KJ, Chen S. Mutational analysis of AXIN2, MSX1, and PAX9 in two Mexican oligodontia families. Genet Mol Res. 2013 Oct 10;12(4):4446-58.

Associate Professor
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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