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Eur J Med Genet. 2012 Nov;55(11):660-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmg.2012.06.015. Epub 2012 Jul 20.

A familial case with interstitial 2q36 deletion: variable phenotypic expression in full and mosaic state.

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Department of Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Campinas, Rua Tessália Vieira de Camargo, 126 CEP 13083-887 Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil.


Submicroscopic chromosomal anomalies play an important role in the etiology of craniofacial malformations, including midline facial defects with hypertelorism (MFDH). MFDH is a common feature combination in several conditions, of which Frontonasal Dysplasia is the most frequently encountered manifestation; in most cases the etiology remains unknown. We identified a parent to child transmission of a 6.2 Mb interstitial deletion of chromosome region 2q36.1q36.3 by array-CGH and confirmed by FISH and microsatellite analysis. The patient and her mother both presented an MFDH phenotype although the phenotype in the mother was much milder than her daughter. Inspection of haplotype segregation within the family of 2q36.1 region suggests that the deletion arose on a chromosome derived from the maternal grandfather. Evidences based on FISH, microsatellite and array-CGH analysis point to a high frequency mosaicism for presence of a deleted region 2q36 occurring in blood of the mother. The frequency of mosaicism in other tissues could not be determined. We here suggest that the milder phenotype observed in the proband's mother can be explained by the mosaic state of the deletion. This most likely arose by an early embryonic deletion in the maternal embryo resulting in both gonadal and somatic mosaicism of two cell lines, with and without the deleted chromosome. The occurrence of gonadal mosaicism increases the recurrence risk significantly and is often either underestimated or not even taken into account in genetic counseling where new mutation is suspected.

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