Molecular genetics is contributing to the understanding of normal and abnormal cardiovascular development and morphogenesis. Deletions of chromosome 22q11.2 have been associated with distinct phenotypes that result from a failure to form derivatives of third and fourth branchial arches, including DiGeorge syndrome (DGS) and velo-cardio-facial syndrome (VCFS). The biochemical mechanisms underlying these phenotypes remain undetermined. A recent study provides new insight into the mechanism by which gene deletions produce the DGS and VCFS phenotypes.
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