Sutures are the major bone growth sites of the craniofacial skeleton and form in response to developmental approximation of and interaction between two opposing osteogenic fronts. Premature obliteration of these craniofacial bone growth sites or craniosynostosis results in compensatory growth at other bone growth sites, with concomitant craniofacial dysmorphology. While much is now known about the growth and transcriptional factor regulation of suture formation and maintenance, little about the nature of the extracellular environment within sutures and their surrounding bones has been described. This review elucidates the nature of the sutural extracellular matrix and its role in mediating suture maintenance and growth through the regulation of cellular and biomechanical signaling.

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