Cleidocranial Dysplasia (cont.)
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How common is cleidocranial dysplasia?
Cleidocranial dysplasia occurs in approximately 1 per million individuals worldwide.
What genes are related to cleidocranial dysplasia?
The RUNX2 gene provides instructions for making a protein that is involved in bone and cartilage development and maintenance. This protein is a transcription factor, which means it attaches (binds) to specific regions of DNA and helps control the activity of particular genes. Researchers believe that the RUNX2 protein acts as a "master switch," regulating a number of other genes involved in the development of cells that build bones (osteoblasts).
Some mutations change one protein building block (amino acid) in the RUNX2 protein. Other mutations introduce a premature stop signal that results in an abnormally short protein. Occasionally, the entire gene is missing.
These genetic changes reduce or eliminate the activity of the protein produced from one copy of the RUNX2 gene in each cell, decreasing the total amount of functional RUNX2 protein. This shortage of functional RUNX2 protein interferes with normal bone and cartilage development, resulting in the signs and symptoms of cleidocranial dysplasia. In rare cases, affected individuals may experience additional, unusual symptoms resulting from the loss of other genes near RUNX2.
In about one-third of individuals with cleidocranial dysplasia, no mutation in the RUNX2 gene has been found. The cause of the condition in these individuals is unknown.
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