Analysis of 207 case reports on patients with ring autosome showed that: Forty patients, a fifth of the total, had extreme growth failure together with an otherwise almost-normal appearance, viz. no major malformation, no specific deletion syndrome, no or only a few unspecific minor anomalies. This phenotype may be regarded as the "ring syndrome", a term proposed by Cote et al. (1981) since it is independent of what chromosome is involved. Severe growth failure, the sole major physical abnormality in the "ring syndrome", was seen significantly more often among patients with ring of larger chromosomes than among patients with a smaller ring, indicating that the greater the chromosome involved in ring formation, the higher is the probability of severe growth failure. Larger ring chromosomes showed significantly more often instability than smaller rings, suggesting that there may be a correlation between ring instability and the size of the chromosome involved. Growth failure was present in significantly more patients with a "labile" ring than with a "stable" ring, indicating that a correlation may exist between ring instability and growth failure. It is suggested that the "ring syndrome" observed in many cases with ring autosome may result from end-to-end fusion of chromosome ends, an event not involving deletion in the genetic sense. It is also suggested that the "ring syndrome" is caused by a continuous generation of secondary aneuploid cells with increased mortality, i.e. structural ring instability which seems to be a function of the size of the chromosome involved. Thus, formation of a ring chromosome in certain cases might be regarded as a "structural mutation", i.e. an alteration in the structure of the genetic material per se, rather than a loss or gain of genetic dosages.
We report a general procedure which allows the application of whole cosmid cloned genomic sequences for non-radioactive in situ hybridization. The presence of highly repetitive sequences, like Alu and Kpn fragments, is eliminated through competition hybridization with Cot-1 DNA. The method has been tested and optimized with several randomly chosen cosmids of the human thyroglobulin (Tg) gene (8q24). At present, the procedure can be performed with three of the four tested individual cosmids. In cases where a single clone does not result in a specific signal, a larger fragment may be required, which can be accomplished by using two (partially overlapping) cosmids of the same region. The advantages and further potentialities of such a hybridization approach are discussed
This review summarizes the current research on the biochemical defect leading to ataxia-telangiectasia (AT). A DNA repair defect has been linked to AT, although the precise defect has not been found. A critical examination of the evidence for and against a DNA repair defect in AT is presented. Consideration of other recent data on AT raises the possibility that AT may not primarily be the result of a DNA repair defect. Therefore, in this review AT is approached as a syndrome which is defective in the ability to respond to ionizing-radiation-type damage, rather than defective in the ability to repair this damage. However, this does not necessarily exclude the potential involvement of a DNA repair defect in some of the genetically distinct subsets present in AT. Other recent anomalies found in AT, including an altered cell cycle and DNA synthesis profile following ionizing-radiation damage, are also assessed. A suggestion to account for the underlying defect in AT, based on the various research reports, is presented.
Confined chorionic mosaicism, detected commonly on chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and occasionally in cultured amniotic fluid cells, is described in five pregnancies that showed confined chorionic mosaicism for trisomies 12, 13, 14, 17 and a marker chromosome. Cytogenetic findings in these pregnancies support the conclusion that within chorion some chromosomal mosaicism are confined to the trophectoderm derivatives while others to the extra-embryonic mesoderm. The etiology of confined chorionic mosaicism is discussed in relation to a significant role of multiple cell lineages contributing to the early development of placenta. The need is indicated for the use of both direct and long-term cultures in CVS prenatal diagnosis, and for the confirmatory testing of fetal blood or amniotic fluid in cases where mosaicism is detected in chorionic villi.
Microextraction of DNA from dried blood specimens would ease specimen transport to centralized laboratory facilities for recombinant DNA diagnosis in the same manner as use of dried blood spots allowed the broad application of screening tests to newborn populations. A method is described which reproducibly yields 0.5 microgram DNA from the dried equivalent of 50 microliters whole blood. Though DNA yields decreased with storage of dried specimens at room temperature, good-quality DNA was still obtained. Sufficient DNA was routinely obtained for Southern blot analysis using repetitive and unique sequences. This microextraction procedure will allow immediate application of molecular genetic technology to direct newborn screening follow-up of disorders amenable to DNA diagnosis, such as sickle cell anemia, and may eventually permit primary DNA screening for specific mutations.
When used to probe Southern blots of TaqI-digested DNAs from unrelated individuals, p1-79, a 900 bp subclone of a random human cosmid, revealed at least 50 fragments, many of which were polymorphic. Each of 27 unrelated individuals tested with p1-79 displayed a distinct band pattern. Similar variation was seen with several other enzymes, including HaeIII, MspI, PstI and PvuII, whereas other enzymes yielded primarily large fragments of greater than 40 kb. In situ hybridization of p1-79 showed that the loci of hybridization are clustered on human chromosome band 1p36; localization of all TaqI fragments to chromosome 1 was confirmed with a human-rodent somatic cell hybrid panel. DNA sequencing of p1-79 revealed several copies of a 39 bp repeat whose variation in copy number might be the basis of the observed length polymorphisms. Studies of 3-generation Utah families suggest that the numerous restriction fragments homologous to p1-79 are inherited as haplotypes, implying that recombination within this cluster of loci is rare and allowing the cluster to serve as a useful marker for human gene mapping.
Eight polymorphic restriction enzyme sites at the phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) locus were analyzed from the parental chromosomes in 33 Danish nuclear families with at least one phenylketonuric (PKU) child. Determination of haplotypes of 66 normal chromosomes and 66 chromosomes bearing mutant allele(s) demonstrated that there are at least two haplotypes which occur predominantly on PKU chromosomes and rarely otherwise. Overall, the relative frequencies of the various haplotypes are significantly different on PKU- and normal-allele bearing chromosomes, even though there is no predominantly occurring unique haplotype which can characterize the PKU chromosomes. In addition, no significant association (linkage disequilibrium) between any single polymorphic site and the mutant allele(s) was observed. The results suggest that either the phenylketonuric mutation was very ancient so that the polymorphic sites and the mutation have reached linkage equilibrium or the mutant allele(s) are the results of multiple mutations in the phenylalanine hydroxylase gene in man. Furthermore, a crude relationship between standardized linkage disequilibria and physical map distances of the polymorphic sites indicates that there is no apparent recombination hot-spot in the human phenylalanine hydroxylase gene, since the recombination rate within the locus appears to be uniform and likely to be occurring at a rate similar to that within the HLA gene cluster. The limitations of this later analysis are discussed in view of the sampling errors of disequilibrium measure used, and the potential utility of the PAH haplotypes for prenatal diagnosis and detection of PKU carriers is established.
Multiple drug resistance has been shown to be associated with amplification/increased expression of a gene designated MDR. The localization of one member of the MDR gene family, MDR1, to the long arm of chromosome 7 by in situ hybridization is reported.
The chromosomal constitution of 1582 human sperm from 30 normal men of proven fertility was investigated after sperm penetration of hamster eggs. A minimum of 30 sperm chromosome complements were analysed per donor so that the distribution and variation in the frequency and type of sperm chromosomal abnormalities could be assessed. The mean frequency of sperm chromosomal abnormalities in individual men was 10.4% (+/- 6.0%) with a range of 0-24.7%. For numerical abnormalities the mean was 4.7% (+/- 2.9%) with a range of 0-10% and for structural abnormalities the mean was 6.2% (+/- 6.0%) with a range of 0-23.1%. The 95% confidence intervals for the mean of an individual male were 0-10.5% for numerical abnormalities, 0-18.2% for structural abnormalities, and 0-22.4% for total abnormalities. There was a significant excess of hypohaploid complements compared with hyperhaploid complements. Since hypohaploid complements could be caused by technical artefact, a conservative estimate of aneuploidy was obtained by doubling the frequency of hyperhaploid sperm, yielding an estimate of 2.4% aneuploidy. The proportion of X-bearing (53%) and Y-bearing (47%) sperm did not differ significantly. These results were compared to the other two large studies of sperm chromosome complements from normal men.
The genomic components identified by each of two closely related cDNA clones for the major 35 kilodalton non-serum surfactant-associated proteins (PSP-A) were shown to derive from human chromosome 10 by Southern blot analysis of DNAs from human-rodent somatic cell hybrids. By in situ hybridization to human metaphase chromosomes, the cDNA probes were localized to the region 10q21-q24.
An insertional translocation into the proximal long arm of the X chromosome in a boy showing muscular hypotony, growth retardation, psychomotor retardation, cryptorchidism, and Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD) was identified as a duplication of the Xq21-q22 segment by employing DNA probes. With densitometric scanning for quantitation of hybridization signals, 15 Xq probes were assigned to the duplicated region. Analysis of the duplication allowed us to dissect the X-Y homologous region physically at Xq21 and to refine the assignments of the loci for DXYS5, DXYS12, DXYS13, DXS94, DXS95, DXS96, DXS111, and DXS211. Furthermore, we demonstrated the presence of two different DXYS13 and DXS17 alleles in genomic DNA of our patient, suggesting that the duplication resulted from a meiotic recombination event involving the two maternal X chromosomes.
A total of 168 autopsy liver extracts from Japanese individuals were examined for the glutathione S-transferase (GST) isozymes by means of starch gel electrophoresis. The gene frequencies of GST1*1, GST1*2, and GST1*0 in Japanese were 0.252, 0.057, and 0.691, respectively. GST1*3 was detected as a rare variant allele. The incidence of GST1 0 in 41 liver biopsy samples from patients suffering from various liver diseases was investigated using polyacrylamide gel isoelectric focusing. The GST1 0 phenotype was found more frequently in livers with hepatitis and carcinoma than in control livers. The isozymes coded by different GST loci were partially purified and characterized to study their biochemical properties. The apparent Km values with 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (CDNB) as substrate for the isozymes at the GST1, GST2, GST3, and GST4 loci were 604, 1345, 776, and 591 microM, respectively.
A correlation between specific fragile sites and cancer breakpoints has been suggested raising the question of fragile site expression as a predisposing factor in the occurrence of cancer in some persons. Before addressing the question of increased fragility among patients at high risk for cancer, we analyzed the variability of aphidicolin-induced fragile sites among nine normal persons and also among repeated samples from three of these individuals. Considerable variation in both the frequency and location of these fragile sites was observed and the data strongly suggest the significant variation of 6 of the 16 selected sites to be primarily due to sampling differences. These findings indicate that the use of fragile sites as a screening tool for patients at high risk of cancer should be carefully monitored relative to the variation inherent in both culture and individual expression.
The mutation for adult polycystic kidney disease (APKD) has previously been localised to chromosome 16 by the demonstration of genetic linkage with the loci for the alpha-chain of haemoglobin and phosphoglycolate phosphatase. These studies were carried out, however, on only nine families so that the possibility remained that mutations at other genetic loci might produce the disease. Such genetic heterogeneity of linkage would invalidate the general use of chromosome 16 markers for the purposes of detection of the disease, and complicate the characterisation of APKD at the molecular level. Therefore further families were studied to address this question. A total of 28 northern European pedigrees were analysed, all apparently unrelated, and with origins in England, Scotland, Holland and eastern Finland. No evidence was found to suggest heterogeneity of genetic linkage between alpha-globin and the APKD locus in this population.
A modified technique has been developed for the visualization of the chromosomes in human sperm. The cytogenetic analysis of 129 G-banded human sperm metaphases of 6 normal donors showed an incidence of structural and numerical chromosome abnormalities of 7.8%. Two out of 129 spermatozoa were aneuploid (1.6%). The frequency of sperms with chromatid-type aberrations was 2.3% (3/129). Chromosome-type aberrations were found in 5 out of 129 (3.9%) spermatozoa. X to Y ratio did not differ significantly from the expected one-to-one ratio. Twenty-six sperm complements from a patient 18-20 months after testes exposure to 30 Gy were examined. A significant increase of numerical and structural chromosome abnormalities was not observed. Chromatid-type aberrations were found in two sperm complements (7.7%) and chromosome-type aberrations in one sperm complement (3.9%). The cytogenetic analysis of 15 human sperms from a cancer patient 26 months after chemotherapy showed an increased frequency of aberrant sperm complements (33.4%). One chromatid-type (6.7%), three chromosome-type aberrations (20.0%) and one (6.7%) hyperploid sperm complement could be observed. The sample size is still too small to answer the question whether chemical mutagens may increase the frequency of chromosomal abnormalities in human sperm.
Tyrosinemia II is an autosomal-recessively inherited condition caused by deficiency in the liver-specific enzyme tyrosine aminotransferase (TAT; EC 18.104.22.168). We have restudied a patient with typical symptoms of tyrosinemia II who in addition suffers from multiple congenital anomalies including severe mental retardation. Southern blot analysis using a human TAT cDNA probe revealed a complete deletion of both TAT alleles in the patient. Molecular and cytogenetic analysis of the patient and his family showed one deletion to be maternally inherited, extending over at least 27 kb and including the complete TAT structural gene, whereas loss of the second TAT allele results from a small de novo interstitial deletion, del 16 (pter-q22.1::q22.3-qter), in the paternally inherited chromosome 16. Three additional loci previously assigned to 16q22 were studied in our patient: haptoglobin (HP), lecithin: cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT), and the metallothionein gene cluster MT1,MT2. Of these three markers, only the HP locus was found to be codeleted with the TAT locus on the del(16) chromosome.
In a study of the possible relationship between human fragile sites, chromosomal rearrangements related to neoplasia, and chromosome regions involved in evolutionary changes, we have found that 17 fragile sites related to cancer, 15 fragile sites not related to cancer, and 17 non-fragile regions also related to human malignancy correspond or are close to bands involved in rearrangements that have taken place during chromosomal evolution in primates.
Linkage analysis of 15 families affected by X-linked agammaglobulinaemia (XLA) showed close linkage with three probes located towards the centre of the long arm of the X chromosome. No cross-overs were found using pXG12 (DXS94) lod 6.6 or S21 (DXS17) lod 4.4. One cross-over was found with 19.2 (DXS3). This confirms and extends a previous linkage study (Kwan et al. 1986) which demonstrated linkage with S21 and 19.2. Of the families 14 were informative for either pXG12 or S21 and these probes should thus be of great diagnostic value. No evidence of heterogeneity was found in the XLA families but several cross-overs within this region were detected in a family with the X-linked hyper-IgM syndrome confirming this disease as a separate clinical entity.
Twenty-nine deletion breakpoints were mapped in 220 kb of the DXS164 locus relative to potential exons of the Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy gene. Four deletion junction fragments were isolated to acquire outlying Xp21 loci on both the terminal and centromere side of the DXS164 locus. The junction loci were used for chromosome walking, searches for DNA polymorphisms, and mapping against deletion and translocation breakpoints. Forty-four unrelated deletions were analyzed using the junction loci as hybridization probes to map the endpoints between cloned Xp21 loci. DNA polymorphisms from the DXS164 and junction loci were used to follow the segregation of a mutation in a family that represents a recombinant. Both the physical and genetic data point to a very large size for this X-linked muscular dystrophy locus.