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Nat Genet. 1992 Sep;2(1):26-30.

Chromosome 4q DNA rearrangements associated with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy.

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MGC-Department of Human Genetics, Leiden University, The Netherlands.


Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is an autosomal dominant neuromuscular disorder which maps to chromosome 4qter, distal to the D4S139 locus. The cosmid clone 13E, isolated in a search for homeobox genes, was subsequently mapped to 4q35, also distal to D4S139. A subclone, p13E-11, detects in normal individuals a polymorphic EcoRI fragment usually larger than 28 kilobases (kb). Surprisingly, using the same probe we detected de novo DNA rearrangements, characterized by shorter EcoRI fragments (14-28 kb), in 5 out of 6 new FSHD cases. In 10 Dutch families analysed, a specific shorter fragment between 14-28 kb cosegregates with FSHD. Both observations indicate that FSHD is caused by independent de novo DNA rearrangements in the EcoRI fragment detected by p13E-11.

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