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J Dent Res. 2012 Jul;91(7 Suppl):38S-44S.

Cleft lip in oculodentodigital dysplasia suggests novel roles for connexin43.

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  • 1The First Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Osaka University Graduate School of Dentistry, Osaka, Japan.


Oculodentodigital Dysplasia (ODDD) is a rare syndrome involving anomalies in eye, tooth, and digit formation, caused by mutations in CX43/GJA1. In addition to classic dental features, ODDD includes oral and craniofacial accessory symptoms such as characteristic facial appearance and cleft palate. However, there have been no reports of ODDD accompanied by cleft lip. Herein we report, for the first time, a male, sporadic, Asian proband presenting bilateral cleft lip. By direct sequence analysis, our proband was diagnosed as having ODDD with a heterozygous mutation, codon 142 G>A in GJA1 and CX43E48K. We excluded the possibility of pathogenic mutations in B3GALTL, BMP4, TFAP2A, PVRL1, IRF6, and MSX1. To address how CX43/GJA1 is related to cleft lip, we performed immunohistochemistry using mouse and human mid-facial tissue. CX43 expression was detected in the nasal compartment and nasal and maxillary processes at murine developmental stage E12.5. Furthermore, CX43 expression was found in the epithelial tissue inside the human subepithelial cleft lip that completes epithelial fusion. Therefore, we suggest that CX43/GJA1 is involved in lip formation. Our case report of ODDD with a bilateral cleft lip suggests that CX43/GJA1 might be a novel candidate gene for syndromic cleft lip.

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