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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Mar 15;102(11):4085-90. Epub 2005 Mar 2.

Microdeletion of target sites for insulator protein CTCF in a chromosome 11p15 imprinting center in Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome and Wilms' tumor.

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Children's Hospital, University of Mainz, Langenbeckstrasse 1, D-55101 Mainz, Germany.


We have analyzed several cases of Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) with Wilms' tumor in a familial setting, which give insight into the complex controls of imprinting and gene expression in the chromosome 11p15 region. We describe a 2.2-kbp microdeletion in the H19/insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2)-imprinting center eliminating three target sites of the chromatin insulator protein CTCF that we believe here is necessary, but not sufficient, to cause BWS and Wilms' tumor. Maternal inheritance of the deletion is associated with IGF2 loss of imprinting and up-regulation of IGF2 mRNA. However, in at least one affected family member a second genetic lesion (a duplication of maternal 11p15) was identified and accompanied by a further increase in IGF2 mRNA levels 35-fold higher than control values. Our results suggest that the combined effects of the H19/IGF2-imprinting center microdeletion and 11p15 chromosome duplication were necessary for manifestation of BWS.

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