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Am J Med Genet. 2001 Winter;106(4):282-93.

Molecular-pathogenetic classification of genetic disorders of the skeleton.

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  • 1Division fo Metabolism and Molecular Pediatrics, University Children's Hospital, Zürich, Switzerland.


Genetic disorders of the skeleton (skeletal dysplasias and dysostoses) are a large and disparate group of diseases whose unifying features are malformation, disproportionate growth, and deformation of the skeleton or of individual bones or groups of bones. To cope with the large number of different disorders, the "Nosology and Classification of the Osteochondrodysplasias," based on clinical and radiographic features, has been designed and revised periodically. Biochemical and molecular features have been partially implemented in the Nosology, but the rapid accumulation of knowledge on genes and proteins cannot be easily merged into the clinical-radiographic classification. We present here, as a complement to the existing Nosology, a classification of genetic disorders of the skeleton based on the structure and function of the causative genes and proteins. This molecular-pathogenetic classification should be helpful in recognizing metabolic and signaling pathways relevant to skeletal development, in pointing out candidate genes and possible therapeutic targets, and more generally in bringing the clinic closer to the basic science laboratory and in promoting research in this field.

Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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