The ARX gene mutations have been demonstrated to cause different forms of mental retardation (MR). Beside FMR1 in families with X-linked mental retardation (XLMR), the ARX dysfunction was demonstrated to be among the most frequent causes of this heterogeneous group of disorders. Nevertheless, in sporadic cases of MR, ARX mutations are extremely rare. In order to evaluate the frequency of ARX Mutation in XLMR, we performed mutational analysis of ARX in 165 mentally retarded probands negative for FRAXA and belonging to Families in which the condition segregates as an X-linked condition. The same recurrent mutation, an in frame 24 bp insertion (c.428-451dup (24 bp)), was identified in five patients. In one family, the mother of two affected boys was found not to cart), the mutation detected in her sons. These data suggest the presence of germline mosaicism for the mutation in the mother. Our results confirm the significant Contribution of ARX mutations in the etiology of MR, especially in this group of patients selected for XLMR (3%). These data, together with those reported in the literature, imply that screening for c.428-451 dup (24 bp) mutation should be recommended in all patients with suspected XLMR. (c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Uniparental disomy (UPD) is defined as the inheritance of both homologous chromosomes from only one parent. So far, maternal UPD 7 has been described in 28 cases. Here, we report 4 new cases, present clinical information of 5 cases previously reported by us, and review the clinical and molecular findings of all 32 cases. We found a phenotype characterized by pre- and postnatal growth retardation, occipitofrontal head circumference in the lower normal range, a triangular face, and retarded bone maturation. Findings of the facial gestalt included a high and broad forehead and a pointed chin. A broad mouth with down-turned corners, prominent ears, cafe-au-lait spots, hemihypotrophy, or clinodactyly were rarely present. Psychomotor development was delayed in 6 cases. The clinical findings strikingly resemble the phenotype of the heterogeneous Silver-Russell syndrome (SRS). Other anomalies were less frequently found than in SRS. Molecular investigations revealed 11 cases with isodisomy and 17 cases with heterodisomy. In 4 cases this information was not available. From the allelic distribution of the microsatellites investigated, 9 cases might be the consequence of an error at maternal meiosis I, and 6 cases might be due to non-disjunction at maternal meiosis II. Three of the 17 heterodisomic cases had trisomy 7 in chorionic villi, in the remaining cases no prenatal diagnosis through chorionic villus sampling was reported. Conclusion Maternal UPD 7 should be investigated in children with pre- and postnatal growth retardation and a facial gestalt characterized by a high and broad forehead and a pointed chin, as well as in confined placental mosaicism for trisomy 7.
Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by spontaneous chromosomal instability with predisposition to immunodeficiency and cancer. In order to assess the cellular basis of the compromised immune response of NBS patients, the distribution of functionally distinct lymphocyte subsets in peripheral blood was evaluated by means of double-colour flow cytometry. The study involved the 36 lymphopenic patients with a total lymphocyte count less than or equal to1500 mul (group A) and seven patients (group B) having the absolute lymphocyte count comparable with the age-matched controls (greater than or equal to3000 mul). Regardless of the total lymphocyte count the NBS patients showed: (1) profound deficiency of CD4(+) and CD3/CD8(+) T cell subsets and up to fourfold increase in natural killer (NK) cells, almost lack of naive CD4(+) T cells expressing CD45RA isoform, unchanged percentage of naive CD8(+) cell subset (CD8/CD45RA(+)) but bearing the CD8 receptor of low density (CD8(low)); (2) normal expression of CD45RA isoform in the CD56(+) lymphocyte subset, profound decrease in alphabeta but up to threefold increase in gammadelta-T cell-receptor (TCR)-positive T cells; (3) shift towards the memory phenotype in both CD4(+) and CD8(+) lymphocyte subpopulations expressing CD45RO isoform (over-expression of CD45RO in terms of both the fluorescence intensity for CD45RO isoform and the number of positive cells); and (4) an increase in fluorescence intensity for the CD45RA isoform in NK cells population. These results indicate either a failure in T cell regeneration in the thymic pathway (deficiency of naive CD4(+) cells) and/or more dominant contribution of non-thymic pathways in lymphocyte renewal reflected by an increase in the population of CD4(+) and CD8(+) memory cells, gammadelta-TCR positive T as well as NK cell subsets.
We report on a boy with unique somatic and skeletal manifestations, The syndrome consists of branchial and auricular fistulae, abnormal face, and skeletal abnormalities including foramina parietalia permagna, (C) 1998 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
By random amplification of a microdissected chromosome using the degenerate oligonucleotide primed polymerase chain reaction (DOP-PCR) and forward painting (microFISH), we characterised an extra structurally abnormal chromosome (ESAC) or supernumerary marker chromosome in a mentally retarded girl with a pattern of dysmorphic features. It could be clearly shown that the small marker chromosome originates from two different regions of chromosome 18, 18p11.1-->18q11.1 and 18q12.3 -->18q21.1 respectively. Maternal origin of the de novo ESAC and biparental origin of the normal homologues of chromosome 18 were shown by PCR of several highly polymorphic microsatellites. In this case, application of microFISH was a prerequisite for rapid and precise characterisation of an ESAC. A definite identification of this discontinuous supernumerary marker chromosome would not have been possible using FISH with centromere specific probes or multicolour FISH approaches.
p53-mediated signal transduction after exposure to ionizing radiation was examined in cells from patients with Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS), an autosomal recessive disease characterized by microcephaly, immunodeficiency, predisposition to malignancy, and a high sensitivity to ionizing radiation. NBS cells accumulated p53 protein in a dose-dependent fashion, with a peak level 2 hrs after irradiation with 5 Gy. However, the maximal level of p53 protein in NBS cells was constantly lower than in normal cells. Moreover, this attenuation of p53 induction was confirmed by decreased levels of p21WAF1 protein, which is transcriptionally regulated by p53 protein. This defective induction of p53 protein in NBS is similar to that in ataxia-telangiectasia (AT), although the induced levels of p53 protein in NBS appeared to be the intermediate between normal cells and AT cells. This moderate p53 induction in NBS cells is consistent with the relatively mild radiation sensitivity and the abnormal cell cycle regulation post-irradiation, as present in NBS. Furthermore, all NBS cell lines used here exhibited time courses of p53 induction similar to normal cells, which is in contrast with p53 induction in AT cells, where the maximum induction shows a delay of approximately 2 hrs compared with normal cells. These evidences suggest a different function of each gene product in an upstream p53 response to radiation-induced DNA damage.