Thirty-two patients with fertility problems were identified as carriers of small supernumerary marker chromosomes (sSMC). Molecular cytogenetic techniques were used to characterize their chromosomal origin. Together with the other cases available in the literature 111 sSMC cases have now been detected in connection with fertility problems in otherwise clinically healthy persons and characterized for their genetic content. According to this study, in 60% of the cases the sSMC originated from chromosomes 14 or 15. Euchromatic imbalances were caused by the sSMC presence in 30% of the cases. Notably, in 53% of infertile sSMC carriers, the sSMC was parentally transmitted. As we found indications of an as yet unknown mechanism for the elimination of sSMC from the human gene pool, sSMC could also play a role in elucidating the process of chromosome gain and loss during evolution. Nonetheless, further detailed molecular analysis will be necessary in the future to characterize the mechanisms and genetic basis for this phenomenon.
International Journal of Molecular Medicine 07/2008; 21(6):705-14. DOI:10.3892/ijmm.21.6.705 · 1.88 Impact Factor