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Am J Hum Genet. Jan 1997; 60(1): 160–165.
PMCID: PMC1712557

Uniparental disomy of the entire X chromosome in a female with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.


Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a severe, progressive, X-linked muscle-wasting disorder with an incidence of approximately 1/3,500 male births. Females are also affected, in rare instances. The manifestation of mild to severe symptoms in female carriers of dystrophin mutations is often the result of the preferential inactivation of the X chromosome carrying the normal dystrophin gene. The severity of the symptoms is dependent on the proportion of cells that have inactivated the normal X chromosome. A skewed pattern of X inactivation is also responsible for the clinical manifestation of DMD in females carrying X;autosome translocations, which disrupt the dystrophin gene. DMD may also be observed in females with Turner syndrome (45,X), if the remaining X chromosome carries a DMD mutation. We report here the case of a karyotypically normal female affected with DMD as a result of homozygosity for a deletion of exon 50 of the dystrophin gene. PCR analysis of microsatellite markers spanning the length of the X chromosome demonstrated that homozygosity for the dystrophin gene mutation was caused by maternal isodisomy for the entire X chromosome. This finding demonstrates that uniparental isodisomy of the X chromosome is an additional mechanism for the expression of X-linked recessive disorders. The proband's clinical presentation is consistent with the absence of imprinted genes (i.e., genes that are selectively expressed based on the parent of origin) on the X chromosome.

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