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Publications (3)7.31 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Small supernumerary marker chromosomes (sSMCs) are additional, structurally abnormal chromosomes, generally smaller than chromosome 20 of the same metaphase spread. Due to their small size, they are difficult to characterize by conventional cytogenetics alone. In regard to their clinical effects, sSMCs are a heterogeneous group: in particular, sSMCs containing pericentromeric euchromatin are likely to be associated with abnormal outcomes, although exceptions have been reported. To improve characterization of the genetic content of sSMCs, several approaches might be applied based on different molecular and molecular-cytogenetic assays, e.g., fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), array-based comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH), and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA).To provide a complementary tool for the characterization of sSMCs, we constructed and validated a new, FISH-based, pericentromeric Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) clone set that with a high resolution spans the most proximal euchromatic sequences of all human chromosome arms, excluding the acrocentric short arms. By FISH analysis, we assayed 561 pericentromeric BAC probes and excluded 75 that showed a wrong chromosomal localization. The remaining 486 probes were used to establish 43 BAC-based pericentromeric panels. Each panel consists of a core, which with a high resolution covers the most proximal euchromatic ~0.7 Mb (on average) of each chromosome arm and generally bridges the heterochromatin/euchromatin junction, as well as clones located proximally and distally to the core. The pericentromeric clone set was subsequently validated by the characterization of 19 sSMCs. Using the core probes, we could rapidly distinguish between heterochromatic (1/19) and euchromatic (11/19) sSMCs, and estimate the euchromatic DNA content, which ranged from approximately 0.13 to more than 10 Mb. The characterization was not completed for seven sSMCs due to a lack of information about the covered region in the reference sequence (1/19) or sample insufficiency (6/19). Our results demonstrate that this pericentromeric clone set is useful as an alternative tool for sSMC characterization, primarily in cases of very small SMCs that contain either heterochromatin exclusively or a tiny amount of euchromatic sequence, and also in cases of low-level or cryptic mosaicism. The resulting data will foster knowledge of human proximal euchromatic regions involved in chromosomal imbalances, thereby improving genotype--phenotype correlations.
    Molecular Cytogenetics 10/2013; 6(1):45. · 2.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neural tube defects (NTDs), most commonly spina bifida and anencephaly, can be prevented with periconceptional intake of folic acid in about 70% of cases. Recurrence of NTDs despite supplementation of high dose of folic acid further suggests that a proportion of NTD cases might be resistant to folic acid. Moreover, heterogeneity of NTDs has been suggested in animal studies, indicating that only some sub-type of NTDs should be considered sensitive to folate intake. Inositol isomers (particularly myo- and chiro-inositol) can prevent folate-resistant NTDs in the curly-tail mutant mouse, suggesting that some cases of human NTDs might benefit from inositol supplementation. In humans, lower inositol blood concentration was found in pregnant women carrying NTD fetuses, whereas a periconceptional combination therapy with folic acid associated with inositol has been linked to normal live births, despite high NTD recurrence risk. Fifteen pregnancies from 12 Caucasian women from different parts of Italy with at least one previous NTD-affected pregnancy underwent periconceptional combined myo-inositol and folic acid supplementation. Maternal serum α-feto-protein levels were found in the normal range, and normal results on ultrasound examination were found in all the pregnancies that followed. No collateral effects or intense uterine contractions were demonstrated in this pilot study in any of the pregnancies after inositol supplementation, and seventeen babies were born without any type of NTD.
    Birth Defects Research Part A Clinical and Molecular Teratology 09/2011; 91(11):962-5. · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To describe the cytogenetic and FISH characterization of a prenatally diagnosed de novo complex chromosome rearrangement (CCR), showing the involvement of four chromosomes and six breakpoints, and review the literature concerning prenatally detected CCRs in order to obtain insights into addressing karyotype-phenotype correlations in prenatal genetic counseling. Conventional protocols were used to set up cultures and chromosome preparations. Commercial and homemade probes were used for the FISH analyses. An apparently balanced de novo t(4;10;20) was prenatally identified by means of cytogenetic analysis. FISH revealed a rearrangement mediated by six breakpoints and the insertion of chromosome 8 material within the 4q region. The pregnancy was interrupted. The fetus showed malformations and anomalous cortical neuron migration. The assembled list of 20 prenatally detected CCRs points to the preferential involvement of chromosomes 4, 6 and 14. The involvement of chromosome 20 is described here for the first time. FISH analysis is essential for the accurate definition of a complex rearrangement. Phenotype description of fetuses carrying CCRs investigated by means of molecular cytogenetic techniques may contribute to improving and personalizing genetic counseling in prenatal diagnosis.
    Prenatal Diagnosis 07/2006; 26(6):565-70. · 2.68 Impact Factor