Recent Advances in Craniosynostosis.

Affiliation

Department of Medical Biology and Genetics, Akdeniz University Medical School, Antalya, Turkey. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Craniosynostosis is a pathologic craniofacial disorder and is defined as the premature fusion of one or more cranial (calvarial) sutures. Cranial sutures are fibrous joints consisting of nonossified mesenchymal cells that play an important role in the development of healthy craniofacial skeletons. Early fusion of these sutures results in incomplete brain development that may lead to complications of several severe medical conditions including seizures, brain damage, mental delay, complex deformities, strabismus, and visual and breathing problems. As a congenital disease, craniosynostosis has a heterogeneous origin that can be affected by genetic and epigenetic alterations, teratogens, and environmental factors and make the syndrome highly complex. To date, approximately 200 syndromes have been linked to craniosynostosis. In addition to being part of a syndrome, craniosynostosis can be nonsyndromic, formed without any additional anomalies. More than 50 nuclear genes that relate to craniosynostosis have been identified. Besides genetic factors, epigenetic factors like microRNAs and mechanical forces also play important roles in suture fusion. As craniosynostosis is a multifactorial disorder, evaluating the craniosynostosis syndrome requires and depends on all the information obtained from clinical findings, genetic analysis, epigenetic or environmental factors, or gene modulators. In this review, we will focus on embryologic and genetic studies, as well as epigenetic and environmental studies. We will discuss published studies and correlate the findings with unknown aspects of craniofacial disorders.

Keywords

Biological process,Craniofacial disorders,Craniosynostosis,Cytogenetics,Epidemiology,Epigenetics,Genetics,

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