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Am J Med Genet. 1999 Aug 6;85(4):385-8.

Neocentromere at 13q32 in one of two stable markers derived from a 13q21 break.

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  • 1División de Genética, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.


A 10-month-old girl with psychomotor retardation, microcephaly, bilateral microphthalmia, and postaxial polydactyly of the feet was karyotyped using banding techniques and (single or dual color) fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) with four probes: D13Z1/D21Z1, pancentromeric, pantelomeric, and a mix of 13q subtelomeric and 13/21 alphoid repeats. She was found to have a 47-chromosome karyotype in which a normal 13 was replaced by two stable markers derived from a breakpoint at 13q21.1, namely a del(13)(q21.1) and an isofragment(13) (qter-->q21.1::q21.1-->qter). The latter had a single C-negative but Cd-positive primary constriction at 13q32 which, however, was not obvious in about 12% of the cells. FISH studies showed that the small 13q- had the 13-centromere and a 13q telomere (as shown for a specific 13q subtelomeric signal) onto the broken end whereas the isofragment lacked alphoid signals but had 13q subtelomeric sequences on both ends. Parental karyotypes were normal. The patient's rearrangement represents the eighth chromosome-13-derived marker with a nonalphoid neocentromere located at 13q. All in all, such neocentromeres have been described in 29 markers derived from chromosomes 2, 3, 8-11, 13-15, 20, and Y, and plausibly result from the epigenetic activation of a latent centromere, which may even be a telomere with neocentric activity. The 13q telomere found in the del(13q) was probably captured from the homologous chromosome.

Copyright 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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