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Ann Genet. 2004 Apr-Jun;47(2):199-205.

Characterization of an analphoid, neocentromere-positive inv dup 8p marker chromosome using multiplex whole chromosome and sub-telomere FISH analyses.

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  • 1New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, Staten Island, NY 10314, USA. milen.velinov@omr.state.ny.us


A 30-year-old male patient with mild mental retardation was found to have a small supernumerary marker chromosome (SMC) in 90% of his peripheral blood cells and in 100% of his fibroblast cells. Multiplex whole chromosome and sub-telomere FISH analyses were used to determine that this SMC is an inverted duplicated distal chromosome 8p fragment. Although it was negative for alpha-DNA sequences, this marker had a functional kinetochore (neocentromere) demonstrated by a positive signal with a CENP-C antibody. Apparently intact 8p telomeres at the marker's ends were demonstrated by using a telomere repeat FISH probe. The patient's phenotypically normal mother on G-banding analysis had a small marker chromosome in 8% of her peripheral blood cells in two cultures of the first specimen studied. The marker was not seen in any subsequent maternal peripheral blood or fibroblast specimens. Although it was impossible to further characterize the maternal SMC, it was suggested that the mother had the same marker as the one seen in the proband. Inverted duplicated chromosomal fragments are the most frequent type of analphoid markers. Stable inverted duplicated 8p marker chromosomes were previously reported in three other patients. They all apparently occurred de novo and were found to be positive for kinetochore-associated proteins. Evidence for the possible inheritance of an inverted-duplicated, analphoid SMC was not shown to-date. This study also demonstrates a practical, straightforward approach for analphoid marker characterization in clinical laboratory settings, using whole chromosome multiplex and subtelomere-specific FISH analyses. FISH probes for all sub-telomere chromosomal regions are commercially available and the large majority of analphoid marker chromosomes involve telomere regions.

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