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Blood. 1997 Sep 15;90(6):2213-6.

Skewed X-inactivation in carriers of X-linked dyskeratosis congenita.

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  • 1Department of Haematology, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital, London, UK.


A gene causing Dyskeratosis Congenita (DC), a rare genetic disorder associated with bone marrow failure, has been mapped to chromosome Xq28, but autosomal inheritance of the disease has also been reported. We have investigated the pattern of X-inactivation in the peripheral blood of carriers of DC using the methylation-sensitive Hpa II site in the androgen receptor gene (HUMARA). In 5 different families in which the inheritance of DC appears to be X-linked, all 16 carriers showed skewed X-inactivation patterns. These cases indicate that, in the hematopoiesis of heterozygous females, cells expressing the normal DC allele have a growth advantage over cells that express the mutant allele. In 7 other families with sporadic cases of DC or with an uncertain pattern of inheritance, both skewed and normal patterns of X-inactivation were observed. In these families or where crucial family members are unavailable, the study of X-inactivation patterns will add to linkage analysis in providing information about carrier status.

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