Recombinant plasmid clone B74 (also named D18 S3) containing a human single-copy DNA segment of 6 kilobases (kb) was localized by in situ hybridization on band p113 of chromosome 18. This probe was then used in cytogenetic diagnosis to identify precisely a small supernumerary chromosome as an isochromosome i(18p).
A new series of 96 pedigrees with the fra(X) syndrome was analysed using complex segregation analysis with pointers, defining affection as any degree of mental impairment. These families were found to exhibit the same segregation pattern as the first series of 110 pedigrees (Sherman et al. 1984). The best estimate for penetrance of mental impairment in males was 79% and in females was 35% for the combined data. Again, there was little evidence for sporadic cases among affected males. Many more intellectually normal transmitting males have been observed since the existence of such males and the concomitant need to investigate the paternal side of pedigrees was recognized. On further investigation of all 206 pedigrees from the old and new data sets, the sibships of nonexpressing males appeared to be different from those of expressing males. Our analysis, using mental impairment as the phenotype, suggested that obligate carrier mothers and daughters of intellectually normal transmitting males are rarely, if ever, mentally impaired and that the sibs of transmitting males are much less likely to be retarded than the sibs of mentally impaired males. Though mothers and daughters of transmitting males are similar in phenotype, the expression of the gene in their offspring appears to be different: the penetrance of mental impairment is higher in offspring of intellectually normal daughters of transmitting males than in offspring of intellectually normal mothers of transmitting males. The implications of these observations for genetic counseling and for genetic models of the fra(X) syndrome are discussed.
The effect of maternal age on the incidence of chromosomally normal spontaneous abortion and different categories of chromosome abnormality among all clinically recognized human pregnancies was evaluated. The results provide no evidence for a significant association of age with sex chromosome monosomy or polyploidy, but clearly demonstrate an effect of age on the frequency of trisomy and chromosomally normal spontaneous abortions. Estimated maternal age-specific rates of trisomy among all recognized pregnancies were calculated and suggest that a majority of oocytes of women aged 40 years and older may be aneuploid.
Fifteen different restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) were detected in the human genome using 19 cloned DNA segments, derived from flow-sorted metaphase chromosomes or total genomic DNA, as hybridization probes. Since these clones were selected at random with respect to their coding potential, their analysis permitted an unbiased estimate of single-copy DNA sequence heterozygosity in the human genome. Since our estimate (h = 0.0037) is an order of magnitude higher than previous estimates derived from protein data, most of the polymorphic variation present in the genome must occur in non-coding sequences. In addition, it was confirmed that enzymes containing the dinucleotide CpG in their recognition sequence detect more polymorphic variation than those that do not contain CpG.
In spite of Carl Rabl's (1885) and Theodor Boveri's (1909) early hypothesis that chromosomes occupy discrete territories or domains within the interphase nucleus, evidence in favor pf this hypothesis has been limited and indirect so far in higher plants and animals. The alternative possibility that the chromatin fiber of single chromosomes might be extended throughout the major part of even the whole interphase nucleus has been considered for many years. In the latter case, chromosomes would only exist as discrete chromatin bodies during mitosis but not during interphase. Both possibilities are compatible with Boveri's well established paradigm of chromosome individuality. Here we show that an active human X chromosome contained as the only human chromosome in a Chinese hamster x man hybrid cell line can be visualized both in metaphase plates and in interphase nuclei after in situ hybridization with either 3H- or biotin-labeled human genomic DNA. We demonstrate that this chromosome is organized as a distinct chromatin body throughout interphase. In addition, evidence for the territorial organization of human chromosomes is also presented for another hybrid cell line containing several autosomes and the human X chromosome. These findings are discussed in the context of our present knowledge of the organization and topography of interphase chromosomes. General applications of a strategy aimed at specific staining of individual chromosomes in experimental and clinical cytogenetics are briefly considered.
The position and arrangement of individual chromosomes in interphase nuclei were examined in mouse-human cell hybrids by in situ hybridization of biotinylated human DNA probes. Intense and even labeling of human chromosomes with little background was observed when polyethylene glycol and Tween-20 were included in hybridization solutions. Human interphase chromosomes were separated from each other in the nucleus, and were confined to well localized domains. Hybrid cells with a single human chromosome showed a reproducible position of this chromosome in the nucleus. Some chromosomes appeared to have a characteristic folding pattern in interphase. Optical section as well as electron microscopy of labeled regions revealed the presence of 0.2 micron wide fibers in each interphase domain, as well as adjacent, locally extended 500 nm fibers. Such fibers are consistent with previously proposed structural models of interphase chromosomes.
A large kindred with the X-linked dominant form of peroneal muscular atrophy (Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease) was analyzed for individual variation in the length of DNA fragments after restriction endonuclease digestion. A systematic search was performed for linkage with a series of cloned single-copy DNA sequences of known regional assignment to the human X chromosome. Close linkage was found with the pDP34 probe (DXYS1 locus, Xq13-q21), suggesting that the gene responsible for the disease is located on the proximal long arm of the X chromosome.
We have isolated 23 human X chromosome-specific DNA fragments from lambda libraries, prepared from flow-sorted X chromosomes. To increase diagnostic potential for X-linked genetic disorders, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), the fragments were tested for restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) with six restriction enzymes. All fragments were regionally mapped to segments of the X chromosome with a panel of somatic cell hybrids and with human cell lines carrying unbalanced chromosomal abnormalities. Two of the isolated probes detected a high frequency RFLP. One, 754, maps between Xp11.3 and Xp21 and detects a PstI polymorphism with an allele frequency of 0.38. The other, 782, maps between Xp22.2 and Xp22.3 and reveals an EcoRI polymorphism with an allele frequency of 0.40. According to a pilot linkage study of families at risk for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, 754 gives a maximum Lod score of 7.6 at a recombination fraction of 0.03. Probe 782 lies telomeric to DMD with a maximum Lod score of 2.2 at a recombination fraction of 0.17. Using our X-chromosomal probes and a set of autosomal probes, isolated and examined in an identical way, we found a significantly lower RFLP frequency for the X chromosome as compared to the autosomes.
Nonrandom chromosome changes were sought in direct preparations of tumour material from the primary site of four carcinomas and one leiomyosarcoma of the prostate. Two of the carcinomas had previously received oestrogen therapy. A deleted chromosome 10, del(10)(q24), was found in all four carcinomas and may represent a specific marker in prostatic carcinoma. Three of the carcinomas also had a deleted chromosome 7, del(7)(q22), while the fourth had a 7p+. Deleted chromosomes 7 and 10 were not identified among the markers present in the leiomyosarcoma. All five tumours contained one or more abnormal chromosomes derived from chromosome 1. A Y chromosome was present in the leiomyosarcoma but in none of the carcinomas.
High glutathione transferase activity towards trans-stilbene oxide has been observed in resting mononuclear leukocytes only in a portion of the individuals examined. Approximately 46% of a population of 248 individuals demonstrated this high activity. In addition, eight families have been investigated in order to elucidate the hereditary transmission of this activity. The results are consistent with a dominant expression of a single gene located on an autosomal chromosome for this high glutathione transferase activity.
The chromosomal constitution of 2468 human sperm cells has been investigated by fusion of human sperm with hamster eggs. The overall frequency of cells with structural aberrations was 7.7%, ranging from 1.9% to 15.8%, and varying significantly among individuals. The highest frequency occurred in sperm from the oldest donor (49 years), who also had had a vasectomy reversal three years prior to sampling. The overall aneuploidy frequency was 1.7%, ranging from 0.6% to 3.1%. In nine out of ten donors from whom blood samples were available the frequency of sperm cells with structural aberrations was higher than that for lymphocytes. Two previously reported donors (Brandriff et al. 1984) were resampled after an interval of 14 and 16 months respectively, and were each found to have similar frequencies of sperm chromosome abnormalities at both sampling times. A father-son pair included in the study had several chromosome breakpoints in common, although no more frequently than unrelated individuals.
Full cytogenetic analysis of 27 different retinoblastoma tumors is presented. Gross aneuploidy of chromosome arms 6p and 1q were very common, being observed in 15/27 and 21/27 tumors, respectively. However, we found that chromosome 13 was rarely missing: only 3/27 had a detectable monosomy affecting 13q14. Monosomy of chromosome 13 by small deletion or rearrangement was also not observed in any of 12 retinoblastoma tumor lines analyzed detail at the 300-400 chromosome band level. A novel observation in retinoblastoma was the discovery of non-random translocations at three specific breakpoints, 14q32 (4/12), 17p12 (5/12), and 10q25 (3/12). Genomic rearrangements similar to those described involving C-myc in Burkitt lymphoma 14q+ cells could not be demonstrated in the four 14q+ retinoblastoma lines using molecular techniques, and a probe mapping to the site implicated to have an activating role in lymphoma. These data suggest that there is a target for rearrangement at 14q32 but it is not the same sequence used in some Burkitt lymphomas. Two other breakpoints (2p24 and 8q24) coincided with the mapped position of cellular oncogenes, but also failed to show a molecular rearrangement with the oncogene probes. The breakpoints, 10q25 and 17p12, are constitutional fragile sites which may predispose these regions to act as acceptors of translocations in malignant cells. One line had double minute chromosomes, and was the only one of 16 (6%) tested with the N-myc probe which had an amplification. Different tumors from single patients with multifocal heritable retinoblastoma showed independent karyotype evolution. Unilateral non-heritable tumors exhibited a high level of karyotype stability throughout both in vivo and in vitro growth. The various common patterns of aneuploidy and translocations probably confer an early selective advantage to malignant cells, rather than induce malignant transformation.
A major chromosomal abnormality was observed in 10.3% of subfertile men in this study. This result is similar to a previous survey using the same criteria for selection of probands. The high frequency of chromosomal abnormalities emphasizes the importance of cytogenetic examination in subfertile men. The detection of such an abnormality should be followed by chromosome analysis in the patient's family. Prenatal diagnosis is indicated if a subfertile man with an abnormal karyotype fathers a child.
Experiments were performed to find out whether different mechanisms are involved in FPG-(fluorescent plus Giemsa) staining for the demonstration of replication patterns and sister chromatid differentiation (SCD) after bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU)-substitution of V79 Chinese hamster chromosomes. The influence of variations of the staining procedure on the quality of both SCD and replication patterns was comparatively investigated and differences in the demonstration of these two phenomena within the same chromosome were studied using various BrdU-labeling protocols. The results show that at least graduated differences exist. For a good differentiation of replication patterns a stronger FPG-treatment is necessary than it is for SCD. Partial BrdU substitution only leads to replication patterns in the next mitosis. A further round of replication either in the presence or absence of BrdU causes a reduced staining of the complete chromatid and three-way differentiation is seen in third generation mitoses. These results support the view that alterations of chromosomal proteins during BrdU-incorporation and replication of BrdU-substituted DNA are decisive for differential staining.
We retracted information from a computerized databank which contains the cytogenetic findings of 17,000 patients with leukemia and lymphoma. Cytogenetic data from patients with solid tumors were compiled from Dr. Mitelman's catalogue on "Chromosome aberrations in cancer". We compared the observed distribution of breaks in chromosome bands involved in structural rearrangements with the random distribution of breaks generated by Monte Carlo simulation and showed that a majority but not all of the bands known to contain a fragile site are involved in structural aberrations in cancer and that some of them are associated with specific chromosome structural changes in specific types of cancer.
The incidence of exfoliated epithelial cells containing micronuclei was determined in two small human populations, one homozygous and the other heterozygous for the Bloom syndrome gene (bl). The objectives of the study were two: to learn whether the chromosome instability featured so prominently by Bloom syndrome (BS) cells proliferating in vitro also occurs in vivo, and as part of a broad survey of various cancer-prone populations, to determine whether estimating micronucleus frequencies in exfoliated cell samples might be useful for identifying individuals with genetically determined chromosome instability. Eight individuals homozygous (bl/bl) for the BS gene, i.e., persons with the clinical syndrome, were examined, along with 11 obligate heterozygotes (bl/+), parents of affected persons. Exfoliated cells were obtained from two sites, the oral cavity and the urinary tract. Striking and statistically highly significant elevations in the frequencies of cells with micronuclei were observed in cells from both sites in bl/bl individuals compared to that in bl/+ (P less than 0.001) and in a control population, indicating that chromosome instability occurs in vivo in BS. In contrast, micronucleus frequencies at either site did not differ significantly between bl/+ individuals and the control population. This survey, in combination with similar earlier ones of populations predisposed to cancer not on a genetic basis but because of exposure to some environmental carcinogen, suggests that the exfoliated cell micronucleus test identifies individuals whose somatic genetic material has, for either genetic or environmental reasons, been damaged in a way that produces chromosome breakage and rearrangement.
Extracts of hamster-human and mouse-human hybrids, some with translocations involving chromosome 19, have been assayed for both human spleen ferritin (rich in L subunits) and human heart ferritin (rich in H subunits). Hybrid lines retaining part of the long arm of chromosome 19 including the region 19q13.3-19qter produced human "L" type ferritin. This confirms the previous assignment of the "ferritin gene" to chromosome 19 (Caskey et al. 1983). However, lines retaining chromosome 11 were found to contain human "H" type ferritin suggesting that the gene for the "H" subunit is on this chromosome. The presence of chromosome 6 was not necessary for the expression of either "H" or "L" type human ferritin. It thus seems unlikely that the gene for idiopathic haemochromatosis is a ferritin gene.
Previous data on tentative identification of the carrier state for homocystinuria due to cystathionine synthase deficiency using methionine loading or measurement of cystathionine synthase activity in tissue extracts are conflicting. We studied the results of standardized oral methionine loading in 20 obligate heterozygotes and compared them with those of determination of cystathionine synthase activity in cultured fibroblasts. Special attention was devoted to our recently reported observation on the small but striking differences in methionine metabolism between healthy pre- and postmenopausal women and men. Fasting and after load peak levels of methionine in serum did not discriminate the carriers from the control subjects. The mean fasting level of total homocysteine was only significantly higher in the group of premenopausal heterozygotes than in the corresponding control group. Nevertheless, the individual values overlapped with the normal range in 4 of 12 premenopausal heterozygotes. After loading peak levels of total homocysteine in 18 out of the 20 obligate heterozygotes exceeded the upper limit of the ranges in the three control groups. Thus, this parameter discriminated 90% of the obligate carriers. Measurement of cystathionine synthase activity in cultured fibroblasts from a skin biopsy identified the obligate heterozygotes to a similar degree (85%). No significant correlation between the measurements of cystathionine synthase activity and the after load peak levels of total homocysteine in the individual heterozygotes was established. Combination of both methionine loading and determination of cystathionine synthase activity in cultured fibroblasts identified all of these carriers.