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Ann Hum Genet. 1992 Jul;56(Pt 3):273-8.

Interphase cytogenetics of the ICF syndrome.

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  • 1Biologia Generale e Genetica Medica, Universit√† di Pavia, Italy.


Interphase behaviour of centromeric heterochromatin of chromosomes 1 and 16 has been investigated in lymphocytes and fibroblasts of patients with ICF syndrome and of normal subjects with non-isotopic in situ hybridization, using the satellite II-related probe pHuR 195. We found evidence for interphase somatic pairing in ICF lymphocytes with a frequency higher than that found in normal cells. Lymphocytes of ICF patients showed nuclear protrusions and micronuclei and these nuclear abnormalities consistently involved a hybridization signal. Somatic pairing was also present in fibroblasts, but with frequencies similar in normal and ICF subjects. The fibroblasts do not have the major chromosomal abnormalities found in lymphocytes. The degree of heterochromatin condensation in fibroblasts was lower than that in lymphocytes and we postulate that the more decondensed state of chromocentres in the fibroblasts could be the reason for the absence of the major chromosomal abnormalities.

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