Micromanaging Palate Development Development of the facial skeleton is one of the most intriguing and intricate events that occur during human development. Most of the bone, cartilage, and connective tissue that compose the face and neck arise from a class of cells, referred to as neural crest cells, which are initially located at ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2008
Micromanaging Palate Development
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • David E. Clouthier
    Department of Craniofacial Biology, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO
  • Josie Gray
    Department of Craniofacial Biology, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO
  • Kristin Bruk Artinger
    Department of Craniofacial Biology, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO
Article Information
Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Articles
Article   |   October 01, 2008
Micromanaging Palate Development
SIG 5 Perspectives on Speech Science and Orofacial Disorders, October 2008, Vol. 18, 62-72. doi:10.1044/ssod18.2.62
SIG 5 Perspectives on Speech Science and Orofacial Disorders, October 2008, Vol. 18, 62-72. doi:10.1044/ssod18.2.62
Abstract

Development of the facial skeleton is one of the most intriguing and intricate events that occur during human development. Most of the bone, cartilage, and connective tissue that compose the face and neck arise from a class of cells, referred to as neural crest cells, which are initially located at some distance from the facial primordium. A complex set of events regulated by specific gene products direct the formation, migration, and differentiation of these cells, leading to what is viewed as “prototypical” adult facial features. These basic developmental processes are recapitulated during the formation of the palate, termed palatogenesis. In this review, we summarize the basic embryology leading to palate formation, discuss mechanisms that can lead to palatal dysmorphologies, and highlight a new interaction that has recently been demonstrated to play a role in palate development. This interaction, involving small non-coding RNAs referred to as microRNAs, not only establishes a new level of regulation to cellular development, but may also serve as attractive targets for future efforts directed at clinical treatment of birth defect syndromes.

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