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Am J Med Genet A. 2014 Oct;164A(10):2521-8. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.36670. Epub 2014 Jul 16.

Spread of X inactivation on chromosome 15 is associated with a more severe phenotype in a girl with an unbalanced t(X; 15) translocation.

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Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China.


We report on a baby girl with multiple congenital abnormalities, including cleft palate, intrauterine growth restriction, and double outlet right ventricle (DORV) with ventricular septal defect. She had an unbalanced chromosome translocation t (X;15) resulting in monosomy 15pter → p10 and trisomy Xq13.1 → q28. All three copies of Xq encompass the XIST gene. It is known that X chromosome inactivation could spread to the autosome part of an unbalanced translocation involving chromosome X and an autosome. To confirm the spread of X chromosome inactivation on chromosome 15, we evaluate the methylation change by the HumanMethylation450 BeadChip, a whole genome DNA methylation micorarray that includes 15,259 probes spanning 717 genes on chromosome 15. Results showed there was gain in DNA methylation of more than 20% in 586 CpG sites spanning the long arm of chromosome 15. We further examined the hypermethylated CpG sites located in CpG-island promoter, because genes subjected to X chromosome inactivation will have an increase in DNA methylation level in this region. A total of 75 sites representing 24 genes were hypermethylated. Nearly all of these probes are located in region proximal to the breakpoint, from 15q11.2 to 15q21.3 (35Mb) suggesting that X inactivation was spread to the proximal region of 15q. Gain of DNA methylation, especially in the CpG-island promoter, can result in functional inactivation of genes, and therefore could potentially worsen the phenotype of our patient.


DNA methylation; X; X chromosome inactivation; autosome translocation; genome-wide DNA methylation microarray

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