Cranial suture biology and dental development: genetic and clinical perspectives
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Journal of oral pathology and medicine. - KÝbenhavn
, p. 447-455
Premature fusion of the calvarial bones at the sutures, or craniosynostosis (CS), is a relatively common birth defect (1:20003000) frequently associated with limb deformity. Patients with CS may present oral defects, such as cleft soft palate, hypodontia, hyperdontia, and delayed tooth eruption, but also unusual associations of major dental anomalies such as taurodontism, microdontia, multiple dens invaginatus, and dentin dysplasia. The list of genes that are involved in CS includes those coding for the different fibroblast growth factor receptors and a ligand of ephrin receptors, but also genes encoding transcription factors, such as MSX2 and TWIST. Most of these genes are equally involved in odontogenesis, providing a pausible explanation for clinical associations of CS with dental agenesis or tooth malformations. On the basis of the present knowledge on genes and transcription factors that are involved in craniofacial morphogenesis, and from dental clinics of CS syndromes, the molecular mechanisms that control suture formation and suture closure are expected to play key roles in patterning events and development of teeth. The purpose of this article is to review and merge the recent advances in the field of suture research at the genetic and cellular levels with those of tooth development, and to apply them to the dental clinics of CS syndromes. These new perspectives and future challenges in the field of both dental clinics and molecular genetics, more in particular the identification of possible candidate genes involved in both CS and dental defects, are discussed.