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Am J Hum Genet. 1992 Jan;50(1):174-81.

Characterization of Robertsonian translocations by using fluorescence in situ hybridization.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore 21201.


Fluorescence in situ hybridization with five biotin-labeled probes (three alphoid probes, a probe specific for beta-satellite sequences in all acrocentric chromosomes, and an rDNA probe) was used to characterize 30 different Robertsonian translocations, including three t(13;13); one t(15;15), four t(21;21), three t(13;14), two t(13;15), two (13;21), two t(13;22), one t(14;15), eight t(14;21), two t(14;22), and two t(21;22). Of 8 de novo homologous translocations, only one t(13;13) chromosome was interpreted as dicentric, while 19 of 22 nonhomologous Robertsonian translocations were dicentric. The three monocentric nonhomologous translocations included both of the t(13;21) and one t(21;22). Two of 26 translocations studied using the beta-satellite probe showed a positive signal, while rDNA was undetectable in 10 cases studied. These results indicate that most homologous Robertsonian translocations appear monocentric, while the bulk of nonhomologous translocations show two alphoid signals. A majority of the breakpoints localized using this analysis seem to be distal to the centromere and just proximal to the beta-satellite and nuclear-organizing regions.

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