[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) is a learning disability seen in individuals who have >200 CGG•CCG-repeats in the 5' untranslated region of the X-linked FMR1 gene. Such alleles are associated with a fragile site, FRAXA, a gap or constriction in the chromosome that is coincident with the repeat and is induced by folate-stress or thymidylate synthase inhibitors like fluorodeoxyuridine (FdU). The molecular basis of the chromosome fragility is unknown. Previous work has suggested that the stable intrastrand structures formed by the repeat may be responsible, perhaps via their ability to block DNA synthesis. We have examined the replication dynamics of normal and FXS cells with and without FdU. We show here that an intrinsic problem with DNA replication exists in the FMR1 gene of individuals with FXS even in the absence of FdU. Our data suggests a model for chromosome fragility in FXS in which the repeat impairs replication from an origin of replication (ORI) immediately adjacent to the repeat. The fact that the replication problem occurs even in the absence of FdU suggests that this phenomenon may have in vivo consequences, including perhaps accounting for the loss of the X chromosome containing the fragile site that causes Turner syndrome (45, X0) in female carriers of such alleles. Our data on FRAXA may also be germane for the other FdU-inducible fragile sites in humans, that we show here share many common features with FRAXA.
Human Molecular Genetics 01/2014; · 6.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Repeat expansion diseases result from expansion of a specific tandem repeat. The three fragile X-related disorders (FXDs) arise from germline expansions of a CGG•CCG repeat tract in the 5' UTR (untranslated region) of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene. We show here that in addition to germline expansion, expansion also occurs in the somatic cells of both mice and humans carriers of premutation alleles. Expansion in mice primarily affects brain, testis, and liver with very little expansion in heart or blood. Our data would be consistent with a simple two-factor model for the organ specificity. Somatic expansion in humans may contribute to the mosaicism often seen in individuals with one of the FXDs. Because expansion risk and disease severity are related to repeat number, somatic expansion may exacerbate disease severity and contribute to the age-related increased risk of expansion seen on paternal transmission in humans. As little somatic expansion occurs in murine lymphocytes, our data also raise the possibility that there may be discordance in humans between repeat numbers measured in blood and that present in brain. This could explain, at least in part, the variable penetrance seen in some of these disorders.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The order of Carnivora has been very well characterized with over 50 species analyzed by chromosome painting and with painting probe sets made for 9 Carnivora species. Representatives of almost all families have been studied with few exceptions (Otariidae, Odobenidae, Nandiniidae, Prionodontidae). The patterns of chromosome evolution in Carnivora are discussed here. Overall, many Carnivora species retained karyotypes that only slightly differ from the ancestral carnivore karyotype. However, there are at least 3 families in which the ancestral carnivore karyotype has been severely rearranged - Canidae, Ursidae and Mephitidae. Here we report chromosome painting of yet another Carnivora species with a highly rearranged karyotype, Genetta pardina. Recurrent rearrangements make it difficult to define the ancestral chromosomal arrangement in several instances. Only 2 species of pangolins (Pholidota), a sister order of Carnivora, have been studied by chromosome painting. Future use of whole-genome sequencing data is discussed in the context of solving the questions that are beyond resolution of conventional banding techniques and chromosome painting.
Cytogenetic and Genome Research 08/2012; 137(2-4):174-93. · 1.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Fragile X-associated disorders (FXDs) and Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) are genetic conditions resulting from expansion of a trinucleotide repeat in a region of the affected gene that is transcribed but not translated. In the case of the FXDs, pathology results from expansion of CGG•CCG-repeat tract in the 5' UTR of the FMR1 gene, while pathology in FRDA results from expansion of a GAA•TTC-repeat in intron 1 of the FXN gene. Expansion occurs during gametogenesis or early embryogenesis by a mechanism that is not well understood. Associated Expansion then produces disease pathology in various ways that are not completely understood either. In the case of the FXDs, alleles with 55-200 repeats express higher than normal levels of a transcript that is thought to be toxic, while alleles with >200 repeats are silenced. In addition, alleles with >200 repeats are associated with a cytogenetic abnormality known as a fragile site, which is apparent as a constriction or gap in the chromatin that is seen when cells are grown in presence of inhibitors of thymidylate synthase. FRDA alleles show a deficit of the FXN transcript. This review will address the role of repeat-mediated chromatin changes in these aspects of FXD and FRDA disease pathology. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Chromatin in time and space.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 01/2012; 1819(7):802-10. · 4.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present study depicts the phenomenon of supernumerary chromosomes as autonomous genome elements, similar in features with
segmental duplications. Possible role of B chromosomes in evolution and the reasons of their nonrandom distribution in different
mammalian taxa are discussed.
Russian Journal of Genetics 09/2010; 46(9):1094-1096. · 0.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High-quality sequencing of the dog (Canis lupus familiaris) genome has enabled enormous progress in genetic mapping of canine phenotypic variation. The red fox (Vulpes vulpes), another canid species, also exhibits a wide range of variation in coat color, morphology, and behavior. Although the fox genome has not yet been sequenced, canine genomic resources have been used to construct a meiotic linkage map of the red fox genome and begin genetic mapping in foxes. However, a more detailed gene-specific comparative map between the dog and fox genomes is required to establish gene order within homologous regions of dog and fox chromosomes and to refine breakpoints between homologous chromosomes of the 2 species. In the current study, we tested whether canine-derived gene-containing bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones can be routinely used to build a gene-specific map of the red fox genome. Forty canine BAC clones were mapped to the red fox genome by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Each clone was uniquely assigned to a single fox chromosome, and the locations of 38 clones agreed with cytogenetic predictions. These results clearly demonstrate the utility of FISH mapping for construction of a whole-genome gene-specific map of the red fox. The further possibility of using canine BAC clones to map genes in the American mink (Mustela vison) genome was also explored. Much lower success was obtained for this more distantly related farm-bred species, although a few BAC clones were mapped to the predicted chromosomal locations.
The Journal of heredity 07/2009; 100 Suppl 1:S42-53. · 1.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: B chromosomes are often considered to be one of the most mysterious elements of karyotypes (Camacho, 2004). It is generally believed that mammalian B chromosomes do not contain any protein coding genes. The discovery of a conserved KIT gene in Canidae B chromosomes has changed this view. Here we performed analysis of sequences surrounding KIT in B chromosomes of the fox and raccoon dog. The presence of the RPL23A pseudogene was shown in canid B chromosomes. The 3' end fragment of the KDR gene was found in raccoon dog B chromosomes. The size of the B-specific fragment homologous to the autosome fragment was estimated to be a minimum of 480 kbp in both species. The origin and evolution of B chromosomes in Canidae are discussed.
Cytogenetic and Genome Research 02/2007; 116(1-2):100-3. · 1.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plant and animal karyotypes sometimes contain variable elements, that are referred to as additional or B-chromosomes. It is generally believed that B-chromosomes lack major genes and represent parasitic and selfish elements of a genome. Here we report, for the first time, the localization of a gene to B-chromosomes of mammals: red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and two subspecies of raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides). Identification of the proto-oncogene C-KIT on B-chromosomes of two Canidae species that diverged from a common ancestor more than 12.5 million years ago argues against the current view of B-chromosomes. Analyses of fox B-chromosomal C-KIT gene from a flow-sorted fox B-chromosome-specific library revealed the presence of intron-exon boundaries and high identity between sequenced regions of canine and fox B-chromosomal C-KIT copies. Identification of C-KIT gene on all B-chromosomes of two canid species provides new insight into the origin and evolution of supernumeraries and their potential role in the genome.
Chromosome Research 02/2005; 13(2):113-22. · 2.69 Impact Factor