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Cellular organization and boundary formation in craniofacial development

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Craniofacial morphogenesis is a highly dynamic process that requires changes in the behaviors and physical properties of cells in order to achieve the proper organization of different craniofacial structures. Boundary formation is a critical process in cellular organization, patterning, and ultimately tissue separation. There are several recurring cellular mechanisms through which boundary formation and cellular organization occur including, transcriptional patterning, cell segregation, cell adhesion and migratory guidance. Disruption of normal boundary formation has dramatic morphological consequences, and can result in human craniofacial congenital anomalies. In this review we discuss boundary formation during craniofacial development, specifically focusing on the cellular behaviors and mechanisms underlying the self-organizing properties that are critical for craniofacial morphogenesis.

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