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Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 1999 Oct;28(5):366-71.

Etiology of fibrous dysplasia and McCune-Albright syndrome.

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  • 1Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Sciences, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


In this paper, the etiology of monostotic fibrous dysplasia and McCune-Albright syndrome is explained. Both monostotic fibrous dysplasia and McCune-Albright syndrome are sporadically occurring disorders in which a mutation in the GNAS1 gene occurs postzygotically in a somatic cell. All cells descended from the mutated cell can manifest features of McCune-Albright syndrome or fibrous dysplasia. Cells descended from non-mutated cells develop into normal tissues. Thus, the clinical pattern is variable in distribution and appearance. More generalized vs more localized expression depend on (a) how small or how large the cell mass is during embryogenesis when the mutation occurs and (b) where in the cell mass the mutation occurs. Topics discussed include G proteins and their receptors, cycling of stimulatory G protein between active and inactive forms, and specific mutations in GNAS1. We also discuss four possibilities: (a) Are there masked mutations? (b) Are there effects of imprinting? (c) Are there non-classical mutations? and (d) Is fibrous dysplasia a neoplasm?

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