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Eur J Hum Genet. 2005 Apr;13(4):475-85.

Determination of the 'critical region' for cat-like cry of Cri-du-chat syndrome and analysis of candidate genes by quantitative PCR.

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Department of Medical Genetics, Institute of Medical Biochemistry and Genetics, Panum Institute, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen N, Denmark.


Cri-du-chat (CDC, OMIM 123450) is a chromosomal syndrome that results from partial deletions on the short arm of chromosome 5. The clinical features of CDC normally include high-pitched cat-like cry, mental retardation, microcephaly, hypertelorism and epicanthic folds. The cat-like cry is the most prominent clinical characteristic in newborn children and is usually considered as diagnostic for the CDC syndrome. Using a strategy of 'phenotype dissection', the critical region for cat-like cry was mapped to the chromosomal segment 5p15.3-5p15.2 in previous reports. In this study, the distal breakpoints of two interstitial deletions in two clinical distinctive CDC patients are analysed, one with and one without the cat-like cry. Using PCR, the critical region for the cat-like cry is mapped to a short 640 kbp region on chromosome 5p. Genome analysis of this critical region reveals a gene-rich sequence containing five known genes, five putative genes and three spliced EST sequences, altogether 71 predicted exons. Three genes, FLJ25076, a homolog to a ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme UBC-E2, FLJ20303, a nucleolar protein NOP2, which may play a role in the regulation of the cell cycle and MGC5309, a protein with similarity to Nut2, a Drosophila transcriptional coactivator, have been characterized and expression profiles determined by quantitative PCR. These results suggest that one candidate gene, FLJ25076, encodes a ubiquitin-conjugated enzyme E2 type, which is locally expressed in thoracic and scalp tissues. The other two genes are expressed uniformly in all tissues tested, which suggest that they are housekeeping genes.

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