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Ann Genet. 2004 Jul-Sep;47(3):267-73.

Prader-Willi syndrome with an unusually large 15q deletion due to an unbalanced translocation t(4;15).

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Centro de Estudos do Genoma Humano, Departamento de Biologia, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a neurobehavioral disorder caused by deletions in the 15q11-q13 region, by maternal uniparental disomy of chromosome 15 or by imprinting defects. Structural rearrangements of chromosome 15 have been described in about 5% of the patients with typical or atypical PWS phenotype. An 8-year-old boy with a clinical diagnosis of PWS, severe neurodevelopmental delay, absence of speech and mental retardation was studied by cytogenetic and molecular techniques, and an unbalanced de novo karyotype 45,XY,der(4)t(4;15)(q35;q14),-15 was detected after GTG-banding. The patient was diagnosed by SNURF-SNRPN exon 1 methylation assay, and the extent of the deletions on chromosomes 4 and 15 was investigated by microsatellite analysis of markers located in 4qter and 15q13-q14 regions. The deletion of chromosome 4q was distal to D4S1652, and that of chromosome 15 was located between D15S1043 and D15S1010. Our patient's severely affected phenotype could be due to the extent of the deletion, larger than usually seen in PWS patients, although the unbalance of the derivative chromosome 4 cannot be ruled out as another possible cause. The breakpoint was located in the subtelomeric region, very close to the telomere, a region that has been described as having the lowest gene concentrations in the human genome.

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