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Best Pract Res Clin Haematol. 2001 Sep;14(3):631-44.

Chromosome instability syndromes.

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CRC Institute for Cancer studies, University of Birmingham, Vincent Drive, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK.


The chromosome instability syndromes, ataxia telangiectasia (A-T), Fanconi anaemia (FA) and Bloom syndrome (BS) have been known for many years. More recently Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS) and ataxia telangiectasia-like disorder (ATLD) have been identified. A-T, ATLD and NBS form a group of disorders all of which show very similar cellular features that result from the consequences of increased sensitivity to ionizing radiation (IR). They also share some clinical features, particularly A-T and ATLD, and all show an immunodeficiency. A-T and NBS both show a predisposition to lymphoid tumours. Fanconi anaemia can be caused by mutations in eight different genes, although the majority of mutations are accounted for by FANCA and FANCC. The very rare Bloom syndrome is caused by mutation in a single gene, BLM. An important feature which all of these disorders have in common is that the genes identified are involved in aspects of recombination repair of DNA damage.

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