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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2013 Jun;23(3):232-9. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2013.03.004. Epub 2013 May 9.

Microdeletion syndromes.

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Division of Genetic Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.


The recent explosion in the implementation of genome-wide microarray technology to discover rare, pathogenic genomic rearrangements in a variety of diseases has led to the discovery of numerous microdeletion syndromes. It is now clear that these microdeletions are associated with extensive phenotypic heterogeneity and incomplete penetrance. A subset of recurrent microdeletions underpin diverse phenotypes, including intellectual disability, autism, epilepsy and neuropsychiatric disorders. Recent studies highlight a role for additional low frequency variants, or 'second hits' to account for this variability. The implementation of massively parallel sequencing and epigenetic models may provide a powerful prospective approach to the delineation of microdeletion syndrome phenotypes.

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