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Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 2000 Sep;121(2):167-71.

Isochromosome (7)(q10) in Shwachman syndrome without MDS/AML and role of chromosome 7 anomalies in myeloproliferative disorders.

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Sezione di Biologia e Genetica Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche Sperimentali e Cliniche, Università dell'Insubria, Varese, Italy.


Shwachman syndrome (SS) is an autosomal recessive disorder in which bone marrow dysfunction is observed, with development of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemias (AML) in up to one third of the cases. Inconclusive data are available as to increased chromosome breakage in SS, while chromosome 7 anomalies, and often an isochromosome (7)(q10), are frequent in cases with MDS/AML. We report on the consistent presence of an i(7)(q10) in the bone marrow and blood lymphocytes in one of two sisters affected with SS without any clinical or cytological signs of MDS/AML. Thus, this patient was either a case of constitutional mosaicism for the i(7)(q10), or this had to be acquired in a nondysplastic and non-neoplastic marrow clone. DNA polymorphism analysis demonstrated the paternal origin of the i(7q). We postulate that the SS mutation acts as a mutator gene, and causes karyotype instability; abnormal clones would thus arise in the marrow, and chromosome 7 anomalies, i(7q) in particular, will in turn lead to MDS/AML. If this interpretation is correct, it would be also an indication to consider chromosome 7 anomalies in general, out of SS, as primary changes in MDS/AML pathogenesis.

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