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1.  Fetal-specific DNA methylation ratio permits non-invasive prenatal diagnosis of trisomy 21 
Nature medicine  2011;17(4):510-513.
The trials performed worldwide towards Non-Invasive Prenatal Diagnosis (NIPD) of Down syndrome (or Trisomy 21) have demonstrated the great commercial and medical potential of NIPD compared to the currently used invasive prenatal diagnostic procedures. Extensive investigation of methylation differences between the mother and the fetus has led to the identification of Differentially Methylated Regions (DMRs). In this study, we present a strategy using the Methylated DNA immunoprecipitation (MeDiP) methodology in combination with real-time qPCR to achieve fetal chromosome dosage assessment which can be performed non-invasively through the analysis of fetal-specific DMRs. We achieved non-invasive prenatal detection of trisomy 21 by determining the methylation ratio of normal and trisomy 21 cases for each tested fetal-specific DMR present in maternal peripheral blood, followed by further statistical analysis. The application of the above fetal-specific methylation ratio approach provided correct diagnosis of 14 trisomy 21 and 26 normal cases.
doi:10.1038/nm.2312
PMCID: PMC3977039  PMID: 21378977
2.  DECIPHER: web-based, community resource for clinical interpretation of rare variants in developmental disorders 
Human Molecular Genetics  2012;21(R1):R37-R44.
Patients with developmental disorders often harbour sub-microscopic deletions or duplications that lead to a disruption of normal gene expression or perturbation in the copy number of dosage-sensitive genes. Clinical interpretation for such patients in isolation is hindered by the rarity and novelty of such disorders. The DECIPHER project (https://decipher.sanger.ac.uk) was established in 2004 as an accessible online repository of genomic and associated phenotypic data with the primary goal of aiding the clinical interpretation of rare copy-number variants (CNVs). DECIPHER integrates information from a variety of bioinformatics resources and uses visualization tools to identify potential disease genes within a CNV. A two-tier access system permits clinicians and clinical scientists to maintain confidential linked anonymous records of phenotypes and CNVs for their patients that, with informed consent, can subsequently be shared with the wider clinical genetics and research communities. Advances in next-generation sequencing technologies are making it practical and affordable to sequence the whole exome/genome of patients who display features suggestive of a genetic disorder. This approach enables the identification of smaller intragenic mutations including single-nucleotide variants that are not accessible even with high-resolution genomic array analysis. This article briefly summarizes the current status and achievements of the DECIPHER project and looks ahead to the opportunities and challenges of jointly analysing structural and sequence variation in the human genome.
doi:10.1093/hmg/dds362
PMCID: PMC3459644  PMID: 22962312
3.  Methods and strategies for analyzing copy number variation using DNA microarrays 
Nature genetics  2007;39(7 Suppl):S16-S21.
The association of DNA copy-number variation (CNV) with specific gene function and human disease has been long known, but the wide scope and prevalence of this form of variation has only recently been fully appreciated. The latest studies using microarray technology have demonstrated that as much as 12% of the human genome and thousands of genes are variable in copy number, and this diversity is likely to be responsible for a significant proportion of normal phenotypic variation. Current challenges involve developing methods not only for detecting and cataloging CNVs in human populations at increasingly higher resolution but also for determining the association of CNVs with biological function, recent human evolution, and common and complex human disease.
doi:10.1038/ng2028
PMCID: PMC2697494  PMID: 17597776
4.  FoSTeS, MMBIR and NAHR at the human proximal Xp region and the mechanisms of human Xq isochromosome formation 
Human molecular genetics  2011;20(10):1925-1936.
The recently described DNA replication-based mechanisms of fork stalling and template switching (FoSTeS) and microhomology-mediated break-induced replication (MMBIR) were previously shown to catalyze complex exonic, genic and genomic rearrangements. By analyzing a large number of isochromosomes of the long arm of chromosome X (i(Xq)), using whole-genome tiling path array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH), ultra-high resolution targeted aCGH and sequencing, we provide evidence that the FoSTeS and MMBIR mechanisms can generate large-scale gross chromosomal rearrangements leading to the deletion and duplication of entire chromosome arms, thus suggesting an important role for DNA replication-based mechanisms in both the development of genomic disorders and cancer. Furthermore, we elucidate the mechanisms of dicentric i(Xq) (idic(Xq)) formation and show that most idic(Xq) chromosomes result from non-allelic homologous recombination between palindromic low copy repeats and highly homologous palindromic LINE elements. We also show that non-recurrent-breakpoint idic(Xq) chromosomes have microhomology-associated breakpoint junctions and are likely catalyzed by microhomology-mediated replication-dependent recombination mechanisms such as FoSTeS and MMBIR. Finally, we stress the role of the proximal Xp region as a chromosomal rearrangement hotspot.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddr074
PMCID: PMC3428953  PMID: 21349920
5.  aCGH.Spline—an R package for aCGH dye bias normalization 
Bioinformatics  2011;27(9):1195-1200.
Motivation: The careful normalization of array-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) data is of critical importance for the accurate detection of copy number changes. The difference in labelling affinity between the two fluorophores used in aCGH—usually Cy5 and Cy3—can be observed as a bias within the intensity distributions. If left unchecked, this bias is likely to skew data interpretation during downstream analysis and lead to an increased number of false discoveries.
Results: In this study, we have developed aCGH.Spline, a natural cubic spline interpolation method followed by linear interpolation of outlier values, which is able to remove a large portion of the dye bias from large aCGH datasets in a quick and efficient manner.
Conclusions: We have shown that removing this bias and reducing the experimental noise has a strong positive impact on the ability to detect accurately both copy number variation (CNV) and copy number alterations (CNA).
Contact: l.larcombe@cranfield.ac.uk; tf2@sanger.ac.uk
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/btr107
PMCID: PMC3077069  PMID: 21357574
6.  Array painting: a protocol for the rapid analysis of aberrant chromosomes using DNA microarrays 
Nature protocols  2009;4(12):1722-1736.
Aarray painting is a technique that uses microarray technology to rapidly map chromosome translocation breakpoints. previous methods to map translocation breakpoints have used fluorescence in situ hybridization (FIsH) and have consequently been labor-intensive, time-consuming and restricted to the low breakpoint resolution imposed by the use of metaphase chromosomes. array painting combines the isolation of derivative chromosomes (chromosomes with translocations) and high-resolution microarray analysis to refine the genomic location of translocation breakpoints in a single experiment. In this protocol, we describe array painting by isolation of derivative chromosomes using a MoFlo flow sorter, amplification of these derivatives using whole-genome amplification and hybridization onto commercially available oligonucleotide microarrays. although the sorting of derivative chromosomes is a specialized procedure requiring sophisticated equipment, the amplification, labeling and hybridization of Dna is straightforward, robust and can be completed within 1 week. the protocol described produces good quality data; however, array painting is equally achievable using any combination of the available alternative methodologies for chromosome isolation, amplification and hybridization.
doi:10.1038/nprot.2009.183
PMCID: PMC3330750  PMID: 19893508
7.  High incidence of recurrent copy number variants in patients with isolated and syndromic Müllerian aplasia 
Journal of medical genetics  2011;48(3):197-204.
Background
Congenital malformations involving the Müllerian ducts are observed in around 5% of infertile women. Complete aplasia of the uterus, cervix, and upper vagina, also termed Müllerian aplasia or Mayer–Rokitansky–Kuster–Hauser (MRKH) syndrome, occurs with an incidence of around 1 in 4500 female births, and occurs in both isolated and syndromic forms. Previous reports have suggested that a proportion of cases, especially syndromic cases, are caused by variation in copy number at different genomic loci.
Methods
In order to obtain an overview of the contribution of copy number variation to both isolated and syndromic forms of Müllerian aplasia, copy number assays were performed in a series of 63 cases, of which 25 were syndromic and 38 isolated.
Results
A high incidence (9/63, 14%) of recurrent copy number variants in this cohort is reported here. These comprised four cases of microdeletion at 16p11.2, an autism susceptibility locus not previously associated with Müllerian aplasia, four cases of microdeletion at 17q12, and one case of a distal 22q11.2 microdeletion. Microdeletions at 16p11.2 and 17q12 were found in 4/38 (10.5%) cases with isolated Müllerian aplasia, and at 16p11.2, 17q12 and 22q11.2 (distal) in 5/25 cases (20%) with syndromic Müllerian aplasia.
Conclusion
The finding of microdeletion at 16p11.2 in 2/38 (5%) of isolated and 2/25 (8%) of syndromic cases suggests a significant contribution of this copy number variant alone to the pathogenesis of Müllerian aplasia. Overall, the high incidence of recurrent copy number variants in all forms of Müllerian aplasia has implications for the understanding of the aetiopathogenesis of the condition, and for genetic counselling in families affected by it.
doi:10.1136/jmg.2010.082412
PMCID: PMC3322361  PMID: 21278390
8.  Comprehensive assessment of array-based platforms and calling algorithms for detection of copy number variants 
Nature Biotechnology  2011;29(6):512-520.
We have systematically compared copy number variant (CNV) detection on eleven microarrays to evaluate data quality and CNV calling, reproducibility, concordance across array platforms and laboratory sites, breakpoint accuracy and analysis tool variability. Different analytic tools applied to the same raw data typically yield CNV calls with <50% concordance. Moreover, reproducibility in replicate experiments is <70% for most platforms. Nevertheless, these findings should not preclude detection of large CNVs for clinical diagnostic purposes because large CNVs with poor reproducibility are found primarily in complex genomic regions and would typically be removed by standard clinical data curation. The striking differences between CNV calls from different platforms and analytic tools highlight the importance of careful assessment of experimental design in discovery and association studies and of strict data curation and filtering in diagnostics. The CNV resource presented here allows independent data evaluation and provides a means to benchmark new algorithms.
doi:10.1038/nbt.1852
PMCID: PMC3270583  PMID: 21552272
9.  Comparative Genomic Hybridization: microarray design and data interpretation 
Microarray-based Comparative Genomic Hybridization (array-CGH) has been applied for a decade to screen for submicroscopic DNA gains and losses in tumor and constitutional DNA samples. This method has become increasingly flexible with the integration of new biological resources generated by genome sequencing projects. In this chapter, we describe alternative strategies for whole genome screening and high resolution breakpoint mapping of copy number changes by array-CGH, as well as tools available for accurate analysis of array-CGH experiments. Although most methods listed here have been designed for microarrays composed of large-insert clones, they can be adapted easily to other types of microarray platforms, such as those constructed from printed or synthesized oligonucleotides.
doi:10.1007/978-1-59745-538-1_3
PMCID: PMC2871310  PMID: 19381971
probe design; clone selection; normalization; outlier detection; CNV calling; Comparative Genomic Hybridization; array-CGH
10.  Comparative Genomic Hybridization: DNA preparation for microarray fabrication 
The spatial resolution of microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH) is dependent on the length and density of target DNA sequences covering the chromosomal region of interest. Here we describe the methods developed at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (Cambridge, UK) to construct microarrays composed of large-insert clones available through genome sequencing projects. These methods are applicable to Bacterial and Phage Artificial Chromosomes (BAC and PAC) as well as fosmid and cosmid clones. The protocols are scalable for the construction of microarrays composed of several hundreds up to several ten thousands clones.
doi:10.1007/978-1-59745-538-1_16
PMCID: PMC2867217  PMID: 19381975
microarray fabrication; large-insert clones; BAC; PAC; fosmid; cosmid; DOP-PCR; Comparative Genomic Hybridization; array-CGH.
11.  Comparative Genomic Hybridization: DNA labeling, hybridization and detection 
Array-CGH involves the comparison of a test to a reference genome using a microarray composed of target sequences with known chromosomal coordinates. The test and reference DNA samples are used as templates to generate two probe DNAs labeled with distinct fluorescent dyes. The two probe DNAs are co-hybridized on a microarray in the presence of Cot-1 DNA to suppress unspecific hybridization of repeat sequences. After slide washes and drying, microarray images are acquired on a laser scanner and fluorescent intensities from every target sequence spot on the array are extracted using dedicated computer programs. Intensity ratios are calculated and normalized to enable data interpretation. Although the protocols explained in this chapter correspond primarily to the use of large-insert clone microarrays in either manual or automated fashion, necessary adaptations for hybridization on microarrays composed of shorter target DNA sequences are also briefly described.
doi:10.1007/978-1-59745-538-1_17
PMCID: PMC2867219  PMID: 19381974
probe labeling; random priming; hybridization; detection; Comparative Genomic Hybridization; array-CGH
12.  Separation of the PROX1 gene from upstream conserved elements in a complex inversion/translocation patient with hypoplastic left heart 
Hypoplastic left heart (HLH) occurs in at least 1 in 10 000 live births but may be more common in utero. Its causes are poorly understood but a number of affected cases are associated with chromosomal abnormalities. We set out to localize the breakpoints in a patient with sporadic HLH and a de novo translocation. Initial studies showed that the apparently simple 1q41;3q27.1 translocation was actually combined with a 4-Mb inversion, also de novo, of material within 1q41. We therefore localized all four breakpoints and found that no known transcription units were disrupted. However we present a case, based on functional considerations, synteny and position of highly conserved non-coding sequence elements, and the heterozygous Prox1+/− mouse phenotype (ventricular hypoplasia), for the involvement of dysregulation of the PROX1 gene in the aetiology of HLH in this case. Accordingly, we show that the spatial expression pattern of PROX1 in the developing human heart is consistent with a role in cardiac development. We suggest that dysregulation of PROX1 gene expression due to separation from its conserved upstream elements is likely to have caused the heart defects observed in this patient, and that PROX1 should be considered as a potential candidate gene for other cases of HLH. The relevance of another breakpoint separating the cardiac gene ESRRG from a conserved downstream element is also discussed.
doi:10.1038/ejhg.2009.91
PMCID: PMC2766374  PMID: 19471316
chromosome inversion; chromosome translocation; PROX1; hypoplastic left heart; position effect
13.  A novel mechanistic spectrum underlies glaucoma-associated chromosome 6p25 copy number variation 
Human Molecular Genetics  2008;17(22):3446-3458.
The factors that mediate chromosomal rearrangement remain incompletely defined. Among regions prone to structural variant formation, chromosome 6p25 is one of the few in which disease-associated segmental duplications and segmental deletions have been identified, primarily through gene dosage attributable ocular phenotypes. Using array comparative genome hybridization, we studied ten 6p25 duplication and deletion pedigrees and amplified junction fragments from each. Analysis of the breakpoint architecture revealed that all the rearrangements were non-recurrent, and in contrast to most previous examples the majority of the segmental duplications and deletions utilized coupled homologous and non-homologous recombination mechanisms. One junction fragment exhibited an unprecedented 367 bp insert derived from tandemly arranged breakpoint elements. While this accorded with a recently described replication-based mechanism, it differed from the previous example in being unassociated with template switching, and occurring in a segmental deletion. These results extend the mechanisms involved in structural variant formation, provide strong evidence that a spectrum of recombination, DNA repair and replication underlie 6p25 rearrangements, and have implications for genesis of copy number variations in other genomic regions. These findings highlight the benefits of undertaking the extensive studies necessary to characterize structural variants at the base pair level.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddn238
PMCID: PMC2572693  PMID: 18694899
14.  Separation of the PROX1 gene from upstream conserved elements in a complex inversion/translocation patient with hypoplastic left heart 
European Journal of Human Genetics  2009;17(11):1423-1431.
Hypoplastic left heart (HLH) occurs in at least 1 in 10 000 live births but may be more common in utero. Its causes are poorly understood but a number of affected cases are associated with chromosomal abnormalities. We set out to localize the breakpoints in a patient with sporadic HLH and a de novo translocation. Initial studies showed that the apparently simple 1q41;3q27.1 translocation was actually combined with a 4-Mb inversion, also de novo, of material within 1q41. We therefore localized all four breakpoints and found that no known transcription units were disrupted. However we present a case, based on functional considerations, synteny and position of highly conserved non-coding sequence elements, and the heterozygous Prox1+/− mouse phenotype (ventricular hypoplasia), for the involvement of dysregulation of the PROX1 gene in the aetiology of HLH in this case. Accordingly, we show that the spatial expression pattern of PROX1 in the developing human heart is consistent with a role in cardiac development. We suggest that dysregulation of PROX1 gene expression due to separation from its conserved upstream elements is likely to have caused the heart defects observed in this patient, and that PROX1 should be considered as a potential candidate gene for other cases of HLH. The relevance of another breakpoint separating the cardiac gene ESRRG from a conserved downstream element is also discussed.
doi:10.1038/ejhg.2009.91
PMCID: PMC2766374  PMID: 19471316
chromosome inversion; chromosome translocation; PROX1; hypoplastic left heart; position effect
15.  Small regions of overlapping deletions on 6q26 in human astrocytic tumours identified using chromosome 6 tile path array CGH 
Oncogene  2006;25(8):1261-1271.
Deletions of chromosome 6 are a common abnormality in diverse human malignancies including astrocytic tumours, suggesting the presence of tumour suppressor genes (TSG). In order to help identify candidate TSGs, we have constructed a chromosome 6 tile path microarray. The array contains 1780 clones (778 PACs and 1002 BACs) that cover 98.3% of the published chromosome 6 sequences. A total of 104 adult astrocytic tumours (10 diffuse astrocytomas, 30 anaplastic astrocytomas (AA), 64 glioblastomas (GB)) were analysed using this array. Single copy number change was successfully detected and the result was in general concordant with a microsatellite analysis. The pattern of copy number change was complex with multiple interstitial deletions/gains. However, a predominance of telomeric 6q deletions was seen. Two small common and overlapping regions of deletion at 6q26 were identified. One was 1002 kb in size and contained PACRG and QKI, while the second was 199 kb and harbours a single gene, ARID1B. The data show that the chromosome 6 tile path array is useful in mapping copy number changes with high resolution and accuracy. We confirmed the high frequency of chromosome 6 deletions in AA and GB, and identified two novel commonly deleted regions that may harbour TSGs.
doi:10.1038/sj.onc.1209156
PMCID: PMC2760128  PMID: 16205629
Brain tumour; Molecular cytogenetics; Array-CGH; Glioblastoma; Astrocytoma
16.  Human Y Chromosome Base-Substitution Mutation Rate Measured by Direct Sequencing in a Deep-Rooting Pedigree 
Current Biology  2009;19(17):1453-1457.
Summary
Understanding the key process of human mutation is important for many aspects of medical genetics and human evolution. In the past, estimates of mutation rates have generally been inferred from phenotypic observations or comparisons of homologous sequences among closely related species [1–3]. Here, we apply new sequencing technology to measure directly one mutation rate, that of base substitutions on the human Y chromosome. The Y chromosomes of two individuals separated by 13 generations were flow sorted and sequenced by Illumina (Solexa) paired-end sequencing to an average depth of 11× or 20×, respectively [4]. Candidate mutations were further examined by capillary sequencing in cell-line and blood DNA from the donors and additional family members. Twelve mutations were confirmed in ∼10.15 Mb; eight of these had occurred in vitro and four in vivo. The latter could be placed in different positions on the pedigree and led to a mutation-rate measurement of 3.0 × 10−8 mutations/nucleotide/generation (95% CI: 8.9 × 10−9–7.0 × 10−8), consistent with estimates of 2.3 × 10−8–6.3 × 10−8 mutations/nucleotide/generation for the same Y-chromosomal region from published human-chimpanzee comparisons [5] depending on the generation and split times assumed.
doi:10.1016/j.cub.2009.07.032
PMCID: PMC2748900  PMID: 19716302
EVO_ECOL
17.  EYS, encoding an ortholog of Drosophila spacemaker, is mutated in autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa 
Nature genetics  2008;40(11):1285-1287.
Using a positional cloning approach supported by comparative genomics, we have identified a previously unreported gene, EYS, at the RP25 locus on chromosome 6q12 commonly mutated in autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa. Spanning over 2 Mb, this is the largest eye-specific gene identified so far. EYS is independently disrupted in four other mammalian lineages, including that of rodents, but is well conserved from Drosophila to man and is likely to have a role in the modeling of retinal architecture.
doi:10.1038/ng.241
PMCID: PMC2719291  PMID: 18836446
18.  Clinical implication of recurrent copy number alterations in hepatocellular carcinoma and putative oncogenes in recurrent gains on 1q 
To elucidate the pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and develop useful prognosis predictors, it is necessary to identify biologically relevant genomic alterations in HCC. In our study, we defined recurrently altered regions (RARs) common to many cases of HCCs, which may contain tumor-related genes, using whole-genome array-CGH and explored their associations with the clinicopathologic features. Gene set enrichment analysis was performed to investigate functional implication of RARs. On an average, 23.1% of the total probes were altered per case. Mean numbers of altered probes are significantly higher in high-grade, bigger and microvascular invasion (MVI) positive tumors. In total, 32 RARs (14 gains and 18 losses) were defined and 4 most frequent RARs are gains in 1q21.1-q32.1 (64.5%), 1q32.1-q44 (59.2%), 8q11.21-q24.3 (48.7%) and a loss in 17p13.3-p12 (51.3%). Through focusing on RARs, we identified genes and functional pathways likely to be involved in hepatocarcinogenesis. Among genes in the recurrently gained regions on 1q, expression of KIF14 and TPM3 was significantly increased, suggesting their oncogenic potential in HCC. Some RARs showed the significant associations with the clinical features. Especially, the recurrent loss in 9p24.2-p21.1 and gain in 8q11.21-q24.3 are associated with the high tumor grade and MVI, respectively. Functional analysis showed that cytokine receptor binding and defense response to virus pathways are significantly enriched in high grade-related RARs. Taken together, our results and the strategy of analysis will help to elucidate pathogenesis of HCC and to develop biomarkers for predicting behaviors of HCC.
doi:10.1002/ijc.23901
PMCID: PMC2698448  PMID: 18803288
hepatocellular carcinoma; recurrently altered regions; array comparative genomic hybridization; KIF14; TPM3
19.  Challenges and standards in integrating surveys of structural variation 
Nature genetics  2007;39(7 Suppl):S7-15.
There has been an explosion of data describing newly recognized structural variants in the human genome. In the flurry of reporting, there has been no standard approach to collecting the data, assessing its quality or describing identified features. This risks becoming a rampant problem, in particular with respect to surveys of copy number variation and their application to disease studies. Here, we consider the challenges in characterizing and documenting genomic structural variants. From this, we derive recommendations for standards to be adopted, with the aim of ensuring the accurate presentation of this form of genetic variation to facilitate ongoing research.
doi:10.1038/ng2093
PMCID: PMC2698291  PMID: 17597783
20.  A novel mechanistic spectrum underlies glaucoma-associated chromosome 6p25 copy number variation 
Human molecular genetics  2008;17(22):3446-3458.
The factors that mediate chromosomal rearrangement remain incompletely defined. Among regions prone to structural variant formation, chromosome 6p25 is one of the few in which disease-associated segmental duplications and segmental deletions have been identified, primarily through gene dosage attributable ocular phenotypes. Using array comparative genome hybridization, we studied ten 6p25 duplication and deletion pedigrees and amplified junction fragments from each. Analysis of the breakpoint architecture revealed that all the rearrangements were non-recurrent, and in contrast to most previous examples the majority of the segmental duplications and deletions utilized coupled homologous and non-homologous recombination mechanisms. One junction fragment exhibited an unprecedented 367 bp insert derived from tandemly arranged breakpoint elements. While this accorded with a recently described replication-based mechanism, it differed from the previous example in being unassociated with template switching, and occurring in a segmental deletion. These results extend the mechanisms involved in structural variant formation, provide strong evidence that a spectrum of recombination, DNA repair and replication underlie 6p25 rearrangements, and have implications for genesis of copy number variations in other genomic regions. These findings highlight the benefits of undertaking the extensive studies necessary to characterize structural variants at the base pair level.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddn238
PMCID: PMC2572693  PMID: 18694899
21.  Ultra-high resolution array painting facilitates breakpoint sequencing 
Journal of medical genetics  2006;44(1):51-58.
The application of comparative genomic hybridization to DNA microarrays (array-CGH) has greatly improved the speed and resolution at which chromosome rearrangements involving genomic imbalance can be studied. For diagnosis of patients whose disease is suspected to be due to a balanced reciprocal translocation, we have developed a modification of array-CGH, termed array painting, which utilizes flow sorting of the derivative chromosomes before hybridization to an array to map the rearrangement breakpoints (Fiegler et al. 2003). However, current mapping resolution by array painting is rarely adequate to definitively identify disrupted genes which may be responsible for the disease phenotype and further time consuming and often technically challenging studies are required to clone and sequence the breakpoints. In this study, we describe the use of ultra-high resolution arrays to provide such an increased improvement in the resolution of breakpoint mapping by array painting that translocation breakpoints can be directly amplified and sequenced. This method of ultra-high resolution array painting enables rapid and definitive identification of gene disruption in balanced reciprocal translocations and will greatly improve the diagnosis for this group of patients.
doi:10.1136/jmg.2006.044909
PMCID: PMC2597908  PMID: 16971479
22.  Characterization of a 3;6 Translocation Associated with Renal Cell Carcinoma 
Genes, chromosomes & cancer  2007;46(4):311-317.
The most frequent cause of familial clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is von Hippel–Lindau disease and the VHL tumor suppressor gene (TSG) is inactivated in most sporadic clear cell RCC. Although there is relatively little information on the mechanisms of tumorigenesis of clear cell RCC without VHL inactivation, a subset of familial cases harbors a balanced constitutional chromosome 3 translocation. To date nine different chromosome 3 translocations have been associated with familial or multicentric clear cell RCC; and in three cases chromosome 6 was also involved. To identify candidate genes for renal tumorigenesis we characterized a constitutional translocation, t(3;6)(q22;q16.1) associated with multicentric RCC without evidence of VHL target gene dysregulation. Analysis of breakpoint sequences revealed a 1.3-kb deletion on chromosome 6 within the intron of a 2 exon predicted gene (NT_007299.434). However, RT-PCR analysis failed to detect the expression of this gene in lymphoblast, fibroblast, or kidney tumor cell lines. No known genes were disrupted by the translocation breakpoints but several candidate TSGs (e.g., EPHB1, EPHA7, PPP2R3A RNF184, and STAG1) map within close proximity to the breakpoints.
doi:10.1002/gcc.20403
PMCID: PMC2695133  PMID: 17205537
23.  Construction and use of spotted large-insert clone DNA microarrays for the detection of genomic copy number changes 
Nature protocols  2007;2(3):577-587.
Microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization has become a widespread method for the analysis of DNA copy number changes across the human genome. Initial methods for microarray construction using large-insert clones required the preparation of DNA from large-scale cultures. This rapidly became an expensive and time-consuming process when expanded to the number of clones needed for higher resolution arrays. To overcome this problem, several PCR-based strategies have been developed to enable array construction from small amounts of cloned DNA. Here, we describe the construction of microarrays composed of human-specific large-insert clones (40–200 kb) using a specific degenerate oligonucleotide PCR strategy. In addition, we also describe array hybridization using manual and automated procedures and methods for array analysis. The technology and protocols described in this article can easily be adapted for other species dependent on the availability of clone libraries. According to our protocols, the procedure will take approximately 3 days from labeling the DNA to scanning the hybridized slides.
doi:10.1038/nprot.2007.53
PMCID: PMC2688820  PMID: 17406619
24.  Replication-timing-correlated spatial chromatin arrangements in cancer and in primate interphase nuclei 
Journal of cell science  2008;121(Pt 11):1876-1886.
Summary
Using published high-resolution data on S-phase replication timing, we determined the three-dimensional (3D) nuclear arrangement of 33 very-early-replicating and 31 very-late-replicating loci. We analyzed diploid human, non-human primate and rearranged tumor cells by 3D fluorescence in situ hybridization with the aim of investigating the impact of chromosomal structural changes on the nuclear organization of these loci. Overall, their topology was found to be largely conserved between cell types, species and in tumor cells. Early-replicating loci were localized in the nuclear interior, whereas late-replicating loci showed a broader distribution with a higher preference for the periphery than for late-BrdU-incorporation foci. However, differences in the spatial arrangement of early and late loci of chromosome 2, as compared with those from chromosome 5, 7 and 17, argue against replication timing as a major driving force for the 3D radial genome organization in human lymphoblastoid cell nuclei. Instead, genomic properties, and local gene density in particular, were identified as the decisive parameters. Further detailed comparisons of chromosome 7 loci in primate and tumor cells suggest that the inversions analyzed influence nuclear topology to a greater extent than the translocations, thus pointing to geometrical constraints in the 3D conformation of a chromosome territory.
doi:10.1242/jcs.026989
PMCID: PMC2687722  PMID: 18477608
Nuclear architecture; Replication timing; Chromosome territory; Tumor; Primate

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