Skeletal analysis of the Fgfr3(P244R) mouse, a genetic model for the Muenke craniosynostosis syndrome.
Twigg SRF., Healy C., Babbs C., Sharpe JA., Wood WG., Sharpe PT., Morriss-Kay GM., Wilkie AOM.
Muenke syndrome, defined by heterozygosity for a Pro250Arg substitution in fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3), is the most common genetic cause of craniosynostosis in humans. We have used gene targeting to introduce the Muenke syndrome mutation (equivalent to P244R) into the murine Fgfr3 gene. A rounded skull and shortened snout (often skewed) with dental malocclusion was observed in a minority of heterozygotes and many homozygotes. Development of this incompletely penetrant skull phenotype was dependent on genetic background and sex, with males more often affected. However, these cranial abnormalities were rarely attributable to craniosynostosis, which was only present in 2/364 mutants; more commonly, we found fusion of the premaxillary and/or zygomatic sutures. We also found decreased cortical thickness and bone mineral densities in long bones. We conclude that although both cranial and long bone development is variably affected by the murine Fgfr3(P244R) mutation, coronal craniosynostosis is not reliably reproduced.