The Editors of Molecular Cytogenetics would like to thank all our reviewers who have contributed to the journal in volume 6 (2013).
Xq28 duplications, including MECP2 (methyl CpG-binding protein 2; OMIM 300005), have been identified in approximately 140 male patients presenting with hypotonia, severe developmental delay/intellectual disability, limited or absent speech and ambulation, and recurrent respiratory infections. Female patients with Xq28 duplication have been rarely reported and are usually asymptomatic. Altogether, only fifteen symptomatic females with Xq28 duplications including MECP2 have been reported so far: six of them had interstitial duplications while the remaining had a duplication due to an unbalanced X;autosome translocation. Some of these females present with unspecific mild to moderate intellectual disability whereas a more complex phenotype is reported for females with unbalanced X;autosome translocations.
Here we report on the clinical features of three other adolescent to adult female patients with Xq28 interstitial duplications of variable size, all including MECP2 gene.
Mild to moderate cognitive impairment together with learning difficulties and speech delay were evident in each of our patients. Moreover, early inadequate behavioral patterns followed by persistent difficulties in the social and communication domains, as well as the occurrence of mild psychiatric disturbances, are common features of these three patients.
MECP2; Xq28 duplication; X chromosome inactivation
Polyploidy has been recognized for many years as an important hallmark of cancer cells. Polyploid cells can arise through cell fusion, endoreplication and abortive cell cycle. The inner nuclear membrane protein LAP2β plays key roles in nuclear envelope breakdown and reassembly during mitosis, initiation of replication and transcriptional repression. Here we studied the function of LAP2β in the maintenance of cell ploidy state, a role which has not yet been assigned to this protein.
By knocking down the expression of LAP2β, using both viral and non-viral RNAi approaches in osteosarcoma derived U2OS cells, we detected enlarged nuclear size, nearly doubling of DNA content and chromosomal duplications, as analyzed by fluorescent in situ hybridization and spectral karyotyping methodologies. Spectral karyotyping analyses revealed that near-hexaploid karyotypes of LAP2β knocked down cells consisted of not only seven duplicated chromosomal markers, as could be anticipated by genome duplication mechanism, but also of four single chromosomal markers. Furthermore, spectral karyotyping analysis revealed that both of two near-triploid U2OS sub-clones contained the seven markers that were duplicated in LAP2β knocked down cells, whereas the four single chromosomal markers were detected only in one of them. Gene expression profiling of LAP2β knocked down cells revealed that up to a third of the genes exhibiting significant changes in their expression are involved in cancer progression.
Our results suggest that nuclear fusion mechanism underlies the polyploidization induction upon LAP2β reduced expression. Our study implies on a novel role of LAP2β in the maintenance of cell ploidy status. LAP2β depleted U2OS cells can serve as a model to investigate polyploidy and aneuploidy formation by nuclear fusion mechanism and its involvement in cancerogenesis.
LAP2; Cell fusion; Nuclear fusion; Polyploidy; Nuclear envelope; Osteosarcoma; SKY; U2OS
Reported cases of “pure” duplication of the entire short arm of chromosome 16 (16p) are rare, with only 7 patients described in the literature. We report on a female infant with de novo 16p duplication localized to the short arm of chromosome 6, detected by chromosomal analysis and characterized by array CGH and fluorescence in situ hybridization. This baby girl presented with clinical symptoms characteristic of patients with duplications of the short arm of chromosome 16: psychomotor retardation, constitutional growth delay and specific dysmorphic features, including proximally placed hypoplastic thumbs. In addition, she exhibited evidence of neonatal hemochromatosis as shown by direct hyperbilirubinemia, iron overload and elevated liver enzyme levels. To our knowledge, this is the first report of signs of neonatal hemochromatosis in a patient with 16p duplication.
16p duplication; 16p dup; 16p whole arm duplication; Chromosome 16; Duplication of short arm of chromosome 16; Neonatal hemochromatosis; Iron overload; Neonatal liver failure
The MCF7 (ER+/HER2-), T47D (ER+/HER2-), BT474 (ER+/HER2+) and SKBR3 (ER-/HER2+) breast cancer cell lines are widely used in breast cancer research as paradigms of the luminal and HER2 phenotypes. Although they have been subjected to cytogenetic analysis, their chromosomal abnormalities have not been carefully characterized, and their differential cytogenetic profiles have not yet been established. In addition, techniques such as comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), microarray-based CGH and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) have described specific regions of gains, losses and amplifications of these cell lines; however, these techniques cannot detect balanced chromosomal rearrangements (e.g., translocations or inversions) or low frequency mosaicism.
A range of 19 to 26 metaphases of the MCF7, T47D, BT474 and SKBR3 cell lines was studied using conventional (G-banding) and molecular cytogenetic techniques (multi-color fluorescence in situ hybridization, M-FISH). We detected previously unreported chromosomal changes and determined the content and frequency of chromosomal markers. MCF7 and T47D (ER+/HER2-) cells showed a less complex chromosomal make up, with more numerical than structural alterations, compared to BT474 and SKBR3 (HER2+) cells, which harbored the highest frequency of numerical and structural aberrations. Karyotype heterogeneity and clonality were determined by comparing all metaphases within and between the four cell lines by hierarchical clustering. The latter analysis identified five main clusters. One of these clusters was characterized by numerical chromosomal abnormalities common to all cell lines, and the other four clusters encompassed cell-specific chromosomal abnormalities. T47D and BT474 cells shared the most chromosomal abnormalities, some of which were shared with SKBR3 cells. MCF7 cells showed a chromosomal pattern that was markedly different from those of the other cell lines.
Our study provides a comprehensive and specific characterization of complex chromosomal aberrations of MCF7, T47D, BT474 and SKBR3 cell lines.
The chromosomal pattern of ER+/HER2- cells is less complex than that of ER+/HER2+ and ER-/HER2+ cells. These chromosomal abnormalities could influence the biologic and pharmacologic response of cells. Finally, although gene expression profiling and aCGH studies have classified these four cell lines as luminal, our results suggest that they are heterogeneous at the cytogenetic level.
Cytogenetic; Chromosomal abnormalities; Breast cancer cell lines; Hierarchical cluster
The aim of this study was to evaluate the best diagnostic approach for the genetic analysis of samples from first, second and third trimester intrauterine fetal deaths (IUFDs). We examined a total of 417 IUFD samples from fetuses with and without congenital anomalies. On 414 samples, karyotyping (N = 46) and/or rapid aneuploidy testing by QF-PCR (N = 371) was performed). One hundred sixty eight samples with a normal test result were subsequently tested by genome wide Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) array analysis. Three samples were only analyzed by array.
In 50 (12.0%) samples an aneuploidy was detected by QF-PCR and/or karyotyping, representing 47.1% of first, 13.2% of second and 3.4% of third trimester pregnancies. Karyotyping and QF-PCR failed in 4 (8.7%) and 7 (1.9%) samples, respectively, concerning mostly contaminated amniotic fluid samples from third trimester pregnancies.
Clinically relevant aberrations were identified in 4.2% (all fetuses with malformations) of the 168 samples tested by SNP array. Inherited copy number variants (CNVs) were detected in 5.4% and 8.9% showed CNVs of unknown clinical relevance as parental inheritance could not be studied yet. In a sample from a fetus suspect for Meckel-Grüber syndrome, the genotype information from the SNP array revealed various stretches of homozygosity, including one stretch encompassing the CEP290 gene. Subsequent CEP290 mutation analysis revealed a homozygous, pathogenic mutation in this gene.
Based on our experience we recommend QF-PCR as the first-line test in IUFD samples of first and second trimester pregnancies to exclude aneuploidy before performing array analysis. The chance to detect aneuploidy in third trimester pregnancies is relatively low and therefore array analysis can be performed as a first-tier test. A tissue sample, instead of amniotic fluid, is preferred because of a higher success rate in testing.
We emphasize the need for analysis of parental samples whenever a rare, unique CNV is detected to allow for better interpretation of such findings and to improve future pregnancy management. Furthermore, we illustrate the strength of SNP arrays for genotype analysis, even though we realize it is crucial to have detailed phenotypic information to make optimal use of the genotype data in finding candidate recessive genes that may be related to the fetal phenotype.
Intrauterine fetal death; IUFD; DNA; QF-PCR; Karyotyping; SNP array
Oral and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) are among the most common cancers. The poor survival rate among oral cancer patients can be attributed to several factors, one of them being lack of early detection. A key approach to this problem would be to detect potentially malignant lesion at their early stage. Using the FISH technique, oral brush cytology slides can be an easy and rapid screening approach for malignant cell detection. The present study was designed to detect hTERC and SOX2 amplifications in OSSC exfoliative tumor cells and evaluate whether those two gene amplifications might serve as a supportive biomarker in early detection and diagnosis of oral and oropharyngeal SCC.
Brush biopsies were collected from exophytic and exulcerated oral and oropharyngeal lesions of the oral cavity of 71 patients and 22 healthy controls. FISH techniques using a TERC-specific DNA probe and a SOX2 DNA specific probe both combined with a centromere 3-specific control probe was performed on the cytology slides. A 100 squamous epithelial cell nuclei of the smears per slide were analysed. As abnormal FISH pattern were considered amplified and polyploid patterns.
From 71 brush biopsies of oropharynx and other locations in oral cavity analysed by FISH 49 were considered to be abnormal (69%). The over representation of polyploidy and/or TERC/SOX2 amplification in tumour samples was statistically significant when compared to controls (p = 0.01).
SOX2 and TERC gene amplifications are common in all squamous cell carcinomas and their detection in early stages could be crucial for early detection and more accurate prognosis. Our study strongly suggests that early detection by FISH on cytobrushed samples could be a possible non-invasive screening method even before a tissue biopsy is performed.
SOX and hTERC gene amplifications; Brush biopsy; Oral; Oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma
Microarray analysis has been used as the first-tier genetic testing to detect chromosomal imbalances and copy number variants (CNVs) for pediatric patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). To further investigate the candidate genes and underlying dosage-sensitive mechanisms related to ID, cytogenomic mapping of critical regions and bioinformatic mining of candidate brain-expressed genes (BEGs) and their functional interactions were performed. Critical regions of chromosomal imbalances and pathogenic CNVs were mapped by subtracting known benign CNVs from the Databases of Genomic Variants (DGV) and extracting smallest overlap regions with cases from DatabasE of Chromosomal Imbalance and Phenotype in Humans using Ensembl Resources (DECIPHER). BEGs from these critical regions were revealed by functional annotation using Database for Annotation, Visualization, and Integrated Discovery (DAVID) and by tissue expression pattern from Uniprot. Cross-region interrelations and functional networks of the BEGs were analyzed using Gene Relationships Across Implicated Loci (GRAIL) and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA).
Of the 1,354 patients analyzed by oligonucleotide array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH), pathogenic abnormalities were detected in 176 patients including genomic disorders in 66 patients (37.5%), subtelomeric rearrangements in 45 patients (25.6%), interstitial imbalances in 33 patients (18.8%), chromosomal structural rearrangements in 17 patients (9.7%) and aneuploidies in 15 patients (8.5%). Subtractive and extractive mapping defined 82 disjointed critical regions from the detected abnormalities. A total of 461 BEGs was generated from 73 disjointed critical regions. Enrichment of central nervous system specific genes in these regions was noted. The number of BEGs increased with the size of the regions. A list of 108 candidate BEGs with significant cross region interrelation was identified by GRAIL and five significant gene networks involving cell cycle, cell-to-cell signaling, cellular assembly, cell morphology, and gene expression regulations were denoted by IPA.
These results characterized ID related cross-region interrelations and multiple networks of candidate BEGs from the detected genomic imbalances. Further experimental study of these BEGs and their interactions will lead to a better understanding of dosage-sensitive mechanisms and modifying effects of human mental development.
Intellectual disability; Critical regions; Brain expressed genes; Cross-region gene interrelation; Functional network
Characteristic genomic abnormalities in patients with B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) have been shown to provide important prognostic information. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA), currently used in clinical diagnostics of CLL, are targeted tests aimed at specific genomic loci. Microarray-based genomic profiling is a new high-resolution tool that enables genome-wide analyses. The aim of this study was to compare two recently launched genomic microarray platforms, i.e., the CytoScan HD Array (Affymetrix) and the HumanOmniExpress Array (Illumina), with FISH and MLPA to ascertain whether these latter tests can be replaced by either one of the microarray platforms in a clinical diagnostic setting.
Microarray-based genomic profiling and FISH were performed in all 28 CLL patients. For an unbiased comparison of the performance of both microarray platforms 9 patients were evaluated on both platforms, resulting in the identification of exactly identical genomic aberrations. To evaluate the detection limit of the microarray platforms we included 7 patients in which the genomic abnormalities were present in a relatively low percentage of the cells (range 5-28%) as previously determined by FISH. We found that both microarray platforms allowed the detection of copy number abnormalities present in as few as 16% of the cells. In addition, we found that microarray-based genomic profiling allowed the identification of genomic abnormalities that could not be detected by FISH and/or MLPA, including a focal TP53 loss and copy neutral losses of heterozygosity of chromosome 17p.
From our results we conclude that although the microarray platforms exhibit a somewhat lower limit of detection compared to FISH, they still allow the detection of copy number abnormalities present in as few as 16% of the cells. By applying similar interpretation criteria, the results obtained from both platforms were comparable. In addition, we conclude that both microarray platforms allow the identification of additional potential prognostic relevant abnormalities such as focal TP53 deletions and copy neutral losses of heterozygosity of chromosome 17p, which would have remained undetected by FISH or MLPA. The prognostic relevance of these novel genomic alterations requires further evaluation in prospective clinical trials.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia; Microarray-based genomic profiling; FISH; MLPA
Pediatric oligodendrogliomas are rare and appear to show a different molecular profile from adult tumors. Some gliomas display allelic losses at 1p/19q in pediatric patients, although less frequently than in adult patients, but this is rare in tumors with an oligodendroglial component. The molecular basis of this genomic abnormality is unknown in pediatric gliomas, but it represents a relatively common finding in pediatric oligodendroglioma-like neoplasms with leptomeningeal dissemination.
Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) analysis using SALSA P088-B1 for the analysis of the 1p/19q allelic constitution in a pediatric anaplastic (oligodendro)-glioma showed homozygous co-deletion for markers: TNFRSF4 (located at 1p36.33), TP73 (1p36.32), PPAP2B (1pter-p22.1), DPYD (1p21.3), and PDCD5 (19q13.12), and hemizygous deletion of BAX (19q13.3-q13.4). No sequence changes for R132 and R172 of the IDH1/2 genes were identified.
The molecular findings in this pediatric anaplastic glioma do not allow for a clearly definitive pathological diagnosis. However, the findings provide data on a number of 1p/19q genomic regions that, because of homozygotic deletion, might be the location of genes that are important for the development and clinical evolution of some malignant gliomas in children.
Pediatric anaplastic glioma; Oligodendroglioma; Homozygous deletion 1p/19q; MLPA
Chromosomes have territories, or preferred locales, in the cell nucleus. When these sites are taken into account, some large-scale structure of the human genome emerges.
The synoptic picture is that genes highly expressed in particular topologically compact tissues are not randomly distributed on the genome. Rather, such tissue-specific genes tend to map somatotopically onto the complete chromosome set. They seem to form a “genome homunculus”: a multi-dimensional, genome-wide body representation extending across chromosome territories of the entire spermcell nucleus. The antero-posterior axis of the body significantly corresponds to the head-tail axis of the nucleus, and the dorso-ventral body axis to the central-peripheral nucleus axis.
This large-scale genomic structure includes thousands of genes. One rationale for a homuncular genome structure would be to minimize connection costs in genetic networks. Somatotopic maps in cerebral cortex have been reported for over a century.
Somatotopic map; Homunculus; Tissue-specific gene; Chromosome territory; Connection optimization
One of the frequent reasons for unsuccessful conception is premature ovarian failure/primary ovarian insufficiency (POF/POI) that is defined as the loss of functional follicles below the age of 40 years. Among the genetic causes the most common one involves the X chromosome, as in Turner syndrome, partial X deletion and X-autosome translocations. Here we report a case of a 27-year-old female patient referred to genetic counselling because of premature ovarian failure. The aim of this case study to perform molecular genetic and cytogenetic analyses in order to identify the exact genetic background of the pathogenic phenotype.
For premature ovarian failure disease diagnostics we performed the Fragile mental retardation 1 gene analysis using Southern blot technique and Repeat Primed PCR in order to identify the relationship between the Fragile mental retardation 1 gene premutation status and the premature ovarion failure disease. At this early onset, the premature ovarian failure affected patient we detected one normal allele of Fragile mental retardation 1 gene and we couldn’t verify the methylated allele, therefore we performed the cytogenetic analyses using G-banding and fluorescent in situ hybridization methods and a high resolution molecular cytogenetic method, the array comparative genomic hybridization technique. For this patient applying the G-banding, we identified a large deletion on the X chromosome at the critical region (ChrX q21.31-q28) which is associated with the premature ovarian failure phenotype. In order to detect the exact breakpoints, we used a special cytogenetic array ISCA plus CGH array and we verified a 67.355 Mb size loss at the critical region which include total 795 genes.
We conclude for this case study that the karyotyping is definitely helpful in the evaluation of premature ovarian failure patients, to identify the non submicroscopic chromosomal rearrangement, and using the array CGH technique we can contribute to the most efficient detection and mapping of exact deletion breakpoints of the deleted Xq region.
Sterility; Premature premature ovarian failure (POF); Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI); FMR1 gene analysis; Array–comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH); X chromosome deletion; Repeat primed PCR; G-banding; Deletion breakpoint; Turner syndrome
The infraorder Gekkota is intriguing because it contains multiple chromosomal and environmental sex determination systems that vary even among closely related taxa. Here, we compare male and females karyotypes of the pink-tailed worm-lizard (Aprasia parapulchella), a small legless lizard belonging to the endemic Australian family Pygopodidae.
We applied comparative genomic hybridization to reveal an XX/XY sex chromosome system in which the Y chromosome is highly differentiated from the X in both gross morphology and DNA sequence. In addition, FISH mapping has revealed that two microsatellite repeat motifs, (AGAT)n and (AC)n, have been amplified multiple times on the Y chromosome.
XY karyotypes are found in other pygopodids (Delma inornata and Lialis burtonis), suggesting that the common ancestor of Pygopodidae also had XY sex chromosomes. However, the morphology and size of the Y chromosomes are different among the three species, suggesting that the processes underlying the evolution of sex chromosomes in the Pygopodidae involved chromosome rearrangements and accumulation and amplification of repeats.
Reptile; Sex chromosome differentiation; Y chromosome degeneration
Myelofibrosis occurs as primary myelofibrosis or as a late occurrence in the evolution of essential thrombocythaemia and polycythaemia vera. It is the rarest of the three classic myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). Polyploidy has only rarely been reported in MPN despite the prominent involvement of abnormal megakaryocytes. The use of peripheral blood samples containing increased numbers of haematopoietic progenitors has improved the output from cytogenetic studies in myelofibrosis and together with the use of single nucleotide polymorphism arrays (SNPa) has contributed to an improved knowledge regarding the diverse genetic landscape of this rare disease.
Cytogenetic studies performed on a consecutive cohort of 42 patients with primary or post ET/PV myelofibrosis showed an abnormal karyotype in 24 cases and of these, nine showed a polyploid clone. Six of the nine cases showed a tetraploid (4n) subclone, whereas three showed mixed polyploid subclones with both tetraploid and octoploid (4n/8n) cell lines. The abnormal clone evolved from a near diploid karyotype at the initial investigation to a tetraploid karyotype in follow-up cytogenetic analysis in four cases. In total, six of the nine polyploid cases showed gain of 1q material. The remaining three cases showed polyploid metaphases, but with no detectable structural karyotypic rearrangements. Three of the nine cases showed chromosome abnormalities of 6p, either at diagnosis or later acquired. SNPa analysis on eight polyploid cases showed additional changes not previously recognised by karyotype analysis alone, including recurring changes involving 9p, 14q, 17q and 22q. Except for gain of 1q, SNPa findings from the polyploid group compared to eight non-polyploid cases with myelofibrosis found no significant differences in the type of abnormality detected.
The study showed the use of peripheral blood samples to be suitable for standard karyotyping evaluation and DNA based studies. The overall profile of abnormalities found were comparable with that of post-MPN acute myeloid leukaemia or secondary myelodysplastic syndrome and cases in the polyploidy group were associated with features of high risk disease. The above represents the first documented series of polyploid karyotypes in myelofibrosis and shows a high representation of gain of 1q.
Gain of 1q; Myelofibrosis; Tetraploidy; Polyploidy; SNP array
The chromosomal homologies of human (Homo sapiens = HSA) and silvered leaf monkey (Trachypithecus cristatus = TCR) have been previously studied by classical chromosome staining and by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) applying chromosome-specific DNA probes of all human chromosomes in the 1980s and 1990s, respectively.
However, as the resolution of these techniques is limited we used multicolor banding (MCB) at an ~250-band level, and other selected human DNA probes to establish a detailed chromosomal map of TCR. Therefore it was possible to precisely determine evolutionary conserved breakpoints, orientation of segments and distribution of specific regions in TCR compared to HSA. Overall, 69 evolutionary conserved breakpoints including chromosomal segments, which failed to be resolved in previous reports, were exactly identified and characterized.
This work also represents the first molecular cytogenetic one characterizing a multiple sex chromosome system with a male karyotype 44,XY1Y2. The obtained results are compared to other available data for old world monkeys and drawbacks in hominoid evolution are discussed.
Evolutionary conserved breakpoints; Multicolor banding; Old world monkeys; XY1Y2 sex system
The promise to understand cancer and develop efficacious therapies by sequencing thousands of cancers has not occurred. Mutations in specific genes termed oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes are extremely heterogeneous amongst the same type of cancer as well as between cancers. They provide little selective advantage to the cancer and in functional tests have yet to be shown to be sufficient for transformation. Here I discuss the karyotyptic theory of cancer and ask if it is time for a new approach to understanding and ultimately treating cancer.
Cancer genome; Cancer; Karyotype; Oncogenes; Tumor suppressor genes
An interstitial deletion of the long arms of chromosome 20, del(20)(q), is frequent in the bone marrow (BM) of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), and it is recurrent in the BM of patients with Shwachman-Diamond syndrome (SDS), who have a 30-40% risk of developing MDS and AML.
We report the results obtained by microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization (a-CGH) in six patients with SDS, and we compare the loss of chromosome 20 material with one patient with MDS, and with data on 92 informative patients with MDS/AML/MPN and del(20)(q) collected from the literature.
The chromosome material lost in MDS/AML/MPN is highly variable with no identifiable common deleted regions, whereas in SDS the loss is more uniform: in 3/6 patients it was almost identical, and the breakpoints that we defined are probably common to most patients from the literature. In some SDS patients less material may be lost, due to different distal breakpoints, but the proximal breakpoint is in the same region, always leading to the loss of the EIF6 gene, an event which was related to a lower risk of MDS/AML in comparison with other patients.
Shwachman-Diamond syndrome; del(20)(q); Myeloid neoplams
Array comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) for high resolution detection of chromosome imbalance, and karyotype analysis using G-banded chromosomes for detection of chromosome rearrangements, provide a powerful diagnostic armoury for clinical cytogenetics. However, abnormalities detected by karyotype analysis cannot always be characterised by scrutinising the G-banded pattern alone, and imbalance detected by array CGH cannot always be visualised in the context of metaphase chromosomes. In some cases further techniques are needed for detailed characterisation of chromosomal abnormalities. We investigated seven cases involving structural chromosome rearrangements detected by karyotype analysis, and one case where imbalance was primarily detected by array CGH. Multicolor banding (MCB) was used in all cases and proved invaluable in understanding the detailed structure of the abnormalities.
Karyotype analysis detected structural chromosome rearrangements in 7 cases and MCB was used to help refine the karyotype for each case. Array CGH detected imbalance in an eighth case, where previously, G-banded chromosome analysis had reported a normal karyotype. Karyotype analysis of a second tissue type revealed this abnormality in mosaic form; however, MCB was needed in order to characterise this rearrangement. MCB provided information for the delineation of small deletions, duplications, insertions and inversions and helped to assign breakpoints which were difficult to identify from G-banded preparations due to ambiguous banding patterns.
Despite the recent advance of array CGH in molecular cytogenetics we conclude that fluorescence in situ hybridization, including MCB, is still required for the elucidation of structural chromosome rearrangements, and remains an essential adjunct in modern diagnostic laboratories.
Multicolor banding; Fluorescence in situ hybridization; Array CGH; Karyotype analysis; Complex chromosome rearrangements
With the aim to increase the knowledge on the evolution of coleopteran genomes, we investigated through cytogenetics and nucleotide sequence analysis Mariner transposons in three Scarabaeinae species (Coprophanaeus cyanescens, C. ensifer and Diabroctis mimas).
The cytogenetic mapping revealed an accumulation of Mariner transposon in the pericentromeric repetitive regions characterized as rich in heterochromatin and C
t-1 DNA fraction (DNA enriched with high and moderately repeated sequences). Nucleotide sequence analysis of Mariner revealed the presence of two major groups of Mariner copies in the three investigated coleoptera species.
The Mariner is accumulated in the centromeric area of the coleopteran chromosomes probably as a consequence of the absence of recombination in the heterochromatic regions. Our analysis detected high diversification of Mariner sequences during the evolutionary history of the group. Furthermore, comparisons between the coleopterans sequences with other insects and mammals, suggest that the horizontal transfer (HT) could have acted in the spreading of the Mariner in diverse non-related animal groups.
Chromosomal rearrangements; Evolution; Heterochromatin; Horizontal transfer; Repetitive DNA; Transposition
Interstitial deletions affecting the proximal long arm of chromosome 3 have been rarely reported in the literature. The deleted segments vary in localization and size with different breakpoints making genotype-phenotype correlation very difficult. Until now, a girl with a 1.9-Mb interstitial deletion of 3q13.2q13.31 and 14 novel patients with deletions in 3q11q23 have been reported.
Here we report on a 7-year-old girl with neuropsychiatric disorders and renal, vascular and skeletal anomalies. Array-CGH analysis revealed a small rare inherited 3q13.31 deletion containing only two genes, GAP43 and LSAMP. The mutation analysis of the two genes was negative on the other non-deleted chromosome. GAP43 is considered a crucial component for an effective regenerative response in the nervous system and its mRNA is localized exclusively to nerve tissue where the protein is linked to the synaptosomal membrane. LSAMP is a 64- to 68-kD neuronal surface glycoprotein found in cortical and subcortical regions of the limbic system that acts as an adhesion molecule and guides the development of specific patterns of neuronal connection. The deleted region is adjacent to a “desert gene” region extending 2.099 Mb.
We discuss the effects of GAP43 and LSAMP haploinsufficiency, proposing that their deletion may be responsible for the main phenotype. Further cases with similar microdeletion are expected to be diagnosed and will help to better characterize the clinical spectrum of phenotypes associated with 3q13.31 microdeletion.
3q31.31microdeletion; GAP43 gene; LSAMP gene; Genotype-phenotype correlation
Myxoid liposarcoma is a mesenchymal malignancy most commonly presenting in young adults. This tumor is known for its characteristic chromosomal rearrangement at the DDIT3 locus.
We report a case of myxoid liposarcoma in a 91-year-old, the oldest known patient with this disease-entity. FISH analysis of the DDIT3 and FUS loci demonstrate the pathognomonic chromosomal alteration in the setting of predominantly round cell histology on biopsy, confirmed by RT-PCR.
Myxoid liposarcoma affects mostly young adults but can be seen in the elderly population. Molecular and cytogenetic assays are helpful auxiliaries to histology in the setting of unusual histology and clinical presentation.
Liposarcoma; Myxoid liposarcoma; Round cell liposarcoma; Advanced age; DDIT3; FUS; FISH
The 4q- syndrome is a well known genetic condition caused by a partial terminal or interstitial deletion in the long arm of chromosome 4. The great variability in the extent of these deletions and the possible contribution of additional genetic rearrangements, such as unbalanced translocations, lead to a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations. The majority of reports of 4q- cases are associated with large deletions identified by conventional chromosome analysis; however, the widespread clinical use of novel molecular techniques such as array comparative genomic hybridization (a-CGH) has increased the detection rate of submicroscopic chromosomal aberrations associated with 4q- phenotype.
Herein we report two prenatal cases of 4qter deletions which presented the first with no sonographic findings and the second with brain ventriculomegaly combined with oligohydramnios. Standard karyotyping demonstrated a deletion at band q35.1 of chromosome 4 in both cases. The application of a-CGH confirmed the diagnosis and offered a precise characterization of the genetic defect.
We provide a review of the currently available literature on the prenatal diagnostic approach of 4q- syndrome and we compare our results with other published cases. Our data suggest that the identification and the precise molecular characterization of new cases with 4q- syndrome will contribute in elucidating the genetic spectrum of this disorder.
4q- syndrome; Array-CGH; Prenatal diagnosis; Deletion 4q35.1
In 1952 Papanicolaou et al. first diagnosed and graded cervical carcinomas based on individual “abnormal DNA contents” and cellular phenotypes. Surprisingly current papilloma virus and mutation theories of carcinomas do not mention these individualities. The viral theory holds that randomly integrated, defective genomes of papilloma viruses, which are often untranscribed, cause cervical carcinomas with unknown cofactors 20–50 years after infection. Virus-free carcinomas are attributed to mutations of a few tumor-suppressor genes, especially the p53 gene. But the paradox of how a few mutations or latent defective viral DNAs would generate carcinomas with endless individual DNA contents, degrees of malignancies and cellular phenotypes is unsolved. Since speciation predicts individuality, we test here the theory that cancers are autonomous species with individual clonal karyotypes and phenotypes. This theory postulates that carcinogens induce aneuploidy. By unbalancing mitosis genes aneuploidy catalyzes chain reactions of karyotypic evolutions. Most such evolutions end with non-viable karyotypes but a few become new cancer karyotypes. Despite congenitally unbalanced mitosis genes cancer karyotypes are stabilized by clonal selections for cancer-specific autonomy.
To test the prediction of the speciation theory that individual carcinomas have individual clonal karyotypes and phenotypes, we have analyzed here the phenotypes and karyotypes of nine cervical carcinomas. Seven of these contained papilloma virus sequences and two did not. We determined phenotypic individuality and clonality based on the morphology and sociology of carcinoma cells in vitro. Karyotypic individuality and clonality were determined by comparing all chromosomes of 20 karyotypes of carcinomas in three-dimensional arrays. Such arrays list chromosome numbers on the x-axis, chromosome copy numbers on the y-axis and the number of karyotypes arrayed on the z-axis. We found (1) individual clonal karyotypes and phenotypes in all nine carcinomas, but no virus-specific markers, (2) 1-to-1 variations between carcinoma-specific karyotypes and phenotypes, e.g. drug-resistance and cell morphology, (3) proportionality between the copy numbers of chromosomes and the copy numbers of hundreds of over- and under-expressed mRNAs, (4) evidence that tobacco-carcinogens induce cervical carcinomas via aneuploidy, consistent with the speciation theory.
Since the individual clonal karyotypes of nine carcinomas correlated and co-varied 1-to-1 with complex individual transcriptomes and phenotypes, we have classical genetic and functional transcriptomic evidence to conclude that these karyotypes encode carcinomas - much like the clonal karyotypes that encode conventional species. These individual karyotypes explain the individual “DNA contents”, the endless grades of malignancies and the complex individual transcriptomes and phenotypes of carcinomas.
Karyotype arrays; Speciation theory of cancer; Individuality of cancers; Clonality of cancers; Intrinsic and acquired drug-resistance; 1-to-1 chromosome-transcriptome balances; Chromosome recombination index
MYCN oncogene amplification is the most important prognostic factor in neuroblastoma. 25% neuroblastoma tumors have somatic amplifications at this locus but little is known about its constitutional aberrations and their potential role in carcinogenesis. Here, we have performed an array-CGH and qPCR characterization of two patients with constitutional partial 2p trisomy including MYCN genomic region.
One of the patients had congenital neuroblastoma and showed presence of minute areas of gains and losses within the common fragile site FRA2C at 2p24 encompassing MYCN. The link between 2p24 germline rearrangements and neuroblastoma development was reassessed by reviewing similar cases in the literature.
It appears that constitutional rearrangements involving chromosome 2p24 may play role in NB development.
Neuroblastoma; MYCN; FRA2C; Partial 2p trisomy