Rare syndromes of the head and face: mandibulofacial and acrofacial dysostoses

Karla Terrazas, Jill Dixon, Paul A. Trainor, Michael Dixon

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Craniofacial anomalies account for approximately one-third of all congenital birth defects reflecting the complexity of head and facial development. Craniofacial development is dependent upon a multipotent, migratory population of neural crest cells, which generate most of the bone and cartilage of the head and face. In this review, we discuss advances in our understanding of the pathogenesis of a specific array of craniofacial anomalies, termed facial dysostoses, which can be subdivided into mandibulofacial dysostosis, which present with craniofacial defects only, and acrofacial dysostosis, which encompasses both craniofacial and limb anomalies. In particular, we focus on Treacher Collins syndrome, Acrofacial Dysostosis-Cincinnati Type as well as Nager and Miller syndromes, and animal models that provide new insights into the molecular and cellular basis of these congenital syndromes. We emphasize the etiologic and pathogenetic similarities between these birth defects, specifically their unique deficiencies in global processes including ribosome biogenesis, DNA damage repair, and pre-mRNA splicing, all of which affect neural crest cell development and result in similar tissue-specific defects.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere263
Number of pages16
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Developmental Biology
Issue number3
Early online date10 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


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