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Am J Hum Genet. 1992 Dec;51(6):1240-50.

No significant effect of monosomy for distal 21q22.3 on the Down syndrome phenotype in "mirror" duplications of chromosome 21.

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Institut de Progénèse, Paris, France.


Three Down syndrome patients for whom karyotypic analysis showed a "mirror" (reverse tandem) duplication of chromosome 21 were studied by phenotypic, cytogenetic, and molecular methods. On high-resolution R-banding analysis performed in two cases, the size of the fusion 21q22.3 band was apparently less than twice the size of the normal 21q22.3, suggesting a partial deletion of distal 21q. The evaluation of eight chromosome 21 single-copy sequences of the 21q22 region--namely, SOD1, D21S15, D21S42, CRYA1, PFKL, CD18, COL6A1, and S100B--by a slot blot method showed in all three cases a partial deletion of 21q22.3 and partial monosomy. The translocation breakpoints were different in each patient, and in two cases the rearranged chromosome was found to be asymmetrical. The molecular definition of the monosomy 21 in each patient was, respectively, COL6A1-S100B, CD18-S100B, and PFKL-S100B. DNA polymorphism analysis indicated in all cases a homozygosity of the duplicated material. The duplicated region was maternal in two patients and paternal in one patient. These data suggest that the reverse tandem chromosomes did not result from a telomeric fusion between chromosomes 21 but from a translocation between sister chromatids. The phenotypes of these patients did not differ significantly from that of individuals with full trisomy 21, except in one case with large ears with an unfolded helix. The fact that monosomy of distal 21q22.3 in these patients resulted in a phenotype very similar to Down syndrome suggests that the duplication of the genes located in this part of chromosome 21 is not necessary for the pathogenesis of the Down syndrome features observed in these patients, including most of the facial and hand features, muscular hypotonia, cardiopathy of the Fallot tetralogy type, and part of the mental retardation.

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