Copy number variation in regions flanked (or unflanked) by duplicons among patients with developmental delay and/or congenital malformations; detection of reciprocal and partial Williams-Beuren duplications

Marjolein Kriek, Stefan John White, Karoly Szuhai, Jeroen Knijnenburg, Gert-Jan van Ommen, Johan den Dunnen, Martijn Breuning

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Duplicons, that is, DNA sequences with minimum length 10 kb and a high sequence similarity, are known to cause unequal homologous recombination, leading to deletions and the reciprocal duplications. In this study, we designed a Multiplex Amplifiable Probe Hybridisation (MAPH) assay containing 63 exon-specific single-copy sequences from within a selection of the 169 regions flanked by duplicons that were identified, at a first pass, in 2001. Subsequently, we determined the frequency of chromosomal rearrangements among patients with developmental delay (DD) and/or congenital malformations (CM). In addition, we tried to identify new regions involved in DD/CM using the same assay. In 105 patients, six imbalances (5.8 ) were detected and verified. Three of these were located in microdeletion-related regions, two alterations were polymorphic duplications and the effect of the last alteration is currently unknown. The same study population was tested for rearrangements in regions with no known duplicons nearby, using a set of probes derived from 58 function-selected genes. The latter screening revealed two alterations. As expected, the alteration frequency per unit of DNA is much higher in regions flanked by duplicons (fraction of the genome tested: 5.2 ) compared to regions without known duplicons nearby (fraction of the genome tested: 24.5-90.2 ). We were able to detect three novel rearrangements, including the previously undescribed reciprocal duplication of the Williams Beuren critical region, a subduplicon alteration within this region and a duplication on chromosome band 16p13.11. Our results support the hypothesis that regions flanked by duplicons are enriched for copy number variations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180 - 189
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

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