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Am J Med Genet A. 2007 Apr 15;143A(8):824-9.

An oligonucleotide based array-CGH system for detection of genome wide copy number changes including subtelomeric regions for genetic evaluation of mental retardation.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, UMDNJ, New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey 07103, USA.


Developmental delay (DD) and mental retardation (MR) are important child heath issues with a one percent prevalence. Karyotyping with or without subtelomeric FISH (fluorescent in situ hybridization), unless the phenotype of the patient suggests a specific aberration for a specific FISH assay, is the most common procedure in cytogenetic evaluation of MR/DD. In addition, there are several platforms utilizing microarray based comparative genomic hybridization technology (array-CGH) for genetic testing. Array-CGH can detect deletions or duplications in very small segments of chromosomes and the use of this technology is expected to increase the diagnostic yield. The major limitation of the current BAC based array technologies is the low resolution ( approximately 1 Mb) of the chip and suboptimal coverage particularly in the subtelomeric regions. Our aim was to design a novel array-CGH chip with high-density of probes in the subtelomeric regions as well as to maintain sufficient density in other regions of the genome to provide comprehensive coverage for DD/MR. For this purpose, we used Human Genome CGH Microarray 44B chip (Agilent) as the template for the novel design. Using e-array 4.0 (Agilent), one third of the probes were randomly removed from the array and replaced by 14,000 subtelomeric probes. The average density of the probe coverage is 125 kb and 250-400 probes interrogate subtelomeric regions. To evaluate the array, we tested 15 samples (including subtelomeric aberrations and other microdeletion syndromes), which were previously analyzed by karyotyping and/or FISH. The concordance rate between array results and previous results is 100%. In addition we detected two novel aberrations that were not detected by karyotyping. These results demonstrate the utility of this format of array-CGH in detecting genome wide submicroscopic copy number changes as well as providing comprehensive coverage of all subteleomeric regions.

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