ABSTRACT: Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS) is the chromosomal disorder arising from a hemizygous microdeletion at 7q11.23. The present study was focused on a comparative investigation of genomic integrity in WBS patients by use of cytogenetic methods and the alkaline comet assay. Lymphocytes of whole peripheral blood were cultured and metaphases were examined for frequency and spectrum of chromosome aberrations. A WBS-related microdeletion was detected by means of the FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization) technique. The blood samples from patients who were carriers of this microdeletion, were tested in the comet assay. For this purpose, freshly collected lymphocytes were exposed to hydrogen peroxide (100μM, 1min, 4°C). The frequencies of endogenous and exogenous DNA damage, and the kinetics and efficiency of DNA repair were measured during three subsequent hours of incubation. Comparison of the two data sets in this group of patients demonstrated a slightly elevated average frequency of chromosome aberrations, significantly increased levels of endogenous and H(2)O(2)-induced DNA damage, and somewhat impaired DNA repair. The relationship between an abnormal DNA-damage response and the 7q11.23 hemizygous microdeletion was confirmed experimentally when comparing the comet assay data in FISH-positive and FISH-negative lymphocytes from WBS-suspected patients. Briefly, our results indicate the impact of chromosomal instability within this region on susceptibility towards DNA damage, which may contribute to pathogenesis of this disease. It was shown also that the comet assay, as well as an experimental design proposed here, seem to be useful tools for estimating genome integrity in WBS patients.
Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 05/2011; 724(1-2):46-51. · 2.85 Impact Factor