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Hum Mol Genet. 2002 Dec 15;11(26):3249-56.

Transcriptome analysis of human autosomal trisomy.

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MRC Human Genetics Unit, Edinburgh EH4 2XU, UK.


We present transcriptome analyses of primary cultures of human fetal cells from pregnancies affected with trisomy 21 (t21) and trisomy 13 (t13). Pooled mRNA samples from t21 and t13 cases were used for comparative hybridizations to cDNA arrays with pooled mRNA from normal cells. When the array cDNAs were grouped by chromosomal location the relevant trisomic chromosome could be clearly identified as showing the most significant misregulation. The average level of transcription on the trisomic chromosome was increased only approximately 1.1-fold compared to normal cells on array analysis. Since the karyotype could be accurately predicted by the transcriptome this could provide a novel method of detecting aneusomy of unknown position. Subsequent analysis of individuals cases demonstrated that variation in transcriptional profiles between samples within each class made transcriptional karyotyping difficult without pooling or the use of arrays with a higher proportion of all human cDNAs. Interestingly, consistent differences in the relative expression levels between chromosomes were detected suggesting that genomic control mechanisms may act over larger distances than previously thought. Most (>95%) >+/-2 SD misregulated genes did not map to the trisomic chromosome and significant misregulation was more common in t13 than t21. These data support a model of a subtle primary upregulation of genes on the trisomic chromosome resulting in a secondary, generalized and more extreme transcriptional misregulation. It seems likely that the degree of this misregulation determines the severity of the phenotype in most aneuploidy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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