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Annu Rev Genet. 2009;43:369-88. doi: 10.1146/annurev-genet-102808-114917.

Roles for Bmp4 and CaM1 in shaping the jaw: evo-devo and beyond.

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Department of Biology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York 13244, USA.


The craniofacial skeleton, including jaws and beaks, figures prominently in discussions of adaptive divergence. Craniofacial abnormalities also occur in a number of human syndromes, making the development and genetic basis of craniofacial morphology an area of great interest to a wide spectra of biological and medical disciplines. Recent experiments have implicated key roles for Bmp4 and CaM1 in determining the size and shape of craniofacial traits. These factors offer potent new molecular inroads into the processes, mechanisms, and pathways that underlie craniofacial development and the morphogenesis of shape. Here we review this evidence and discuss its use as the basis for a number of new research avenues.

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