Donatella Fantasia

Università degli Studi G. d'Annunzio Chieti e Pescara, Chieta, Abruzzo, Italy

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Publications (20)73.92 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We describe the case of a boy with psychomotor delay and dysmorphic features, with a germline 16q22.1 microdeletion identified by array-CGH. The deletion spans 0.24Mb and encompasses three genes (ZFP90, CDH3 and CDH1). The deletion has been demonstrated to be inherited from his mother who was affected by lobular breast cancer (LBC) without any other apparently phenotypic features. We suppose that the microdeletion, in particular ZFP90 which is cerebrally expressed, is causative for the boy's phenotype. Mental retardation in the affected boy can recognize several mechanisms such as variable expressivity, non-penetrance, multifactorial/polygenic inheritance, recessive inheritance, a second rearrangement event and epigenetics. Furthermore, we suggest that the deletion of the CDH1, a tumor suppressor gene, involved in hereditary diffuse gastric cancer (HDGC) and LBC predisposed the mother to the carcinoma.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Gene
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    ABSTRACT: We report on a 10-year-old patient with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) and mild dysmorphic features. Although multiple karyotypes were reported as normal, a bacterial artificial chromosome array comparative genomic hybridization revealed the presence of a de novo 14.8-Mb mosaic deletion of chromosome 7q31. The deleted region involved several genes, including FOXP2, which has been associated with CAS. Interestingly, the deletion reported here was observed in about 50% of cells, which is the first case of mosaicism in a 7q31 deletion. Despite the presence of the deletion in only 50% of cells, the phenotype of the patient was not milder than other published cases. To date, 6 cases with a deletion of 9.1-20 Mb involving the FOXP2 gene have been reported, suggesting a new contiguous gene deletion syndrome characterized mainly by CAS caused by haploinsufficiency of the genes encompassed in the 7q critical region. This report suggests that children found with a deletion involving the FOXP2 region should be evaluated for CAS and that analysis of the FOXP2 gene including array comparative genomic hybridization should be considered in selected patients with CAS. Mosaic deletions in this area may also be considered as causative of CAS.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2011 · PEDIATRICS
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    ABSTRACT: Calabrese G, Baldi M, Fantasia D, Teresa Sessa M, Kalantar M, Holzhauer C, Alunni-Fabbroni M, Palka G, Sitar G. Detection of chromosomal aneuploidies in fetal cells isolated from maternal blood using single-chromosome dual-probe FISH analysis. Detection of chromosomal aneuploidies using fetal cells isolated from maternal blood, for prenatal non-invasive genetic investigation, has been a long-sought goal of clinical genetics to replace amniocentesis and chorionic villous sampling to avoid any risk to the fetus. The purpose of this study was to develop a sensitive and specific new assay for diagnosing aneuploidy with circulating fetal cells isolated from maternal blood as previously reported using two novel approaches: (i) simultaneous immunocytochemistry (ICC) evaluation using a monoclonal antibody for i-antigen, followed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH); (ii) dual-probe FISH analysis of interphase nuclei using two differently labeled probes, specific for different loci of chromosomes 21 and 18; in addition, short tandem repeats (STR) analysis on single cells isolated by micromanipulation was applied to confirm the presence of fetal cells in the cell sample enriched from maternal blood. Blood samples were obtained from women carrying trisomic fetuses, and from non-pregnant women and men as controls. Using ICC–FISH approach, a large heterogeneity in immunostaining pattern was observed, which is a source of very subjective signal interpretation. Differently, dual-probe FISH analysis provided for a correct diagnosis of all pregnancies: the mean percentage of trisomic cells was 0.5% (range, 0.36–0.76%), while the mean percentage of trisomic cells in the control group (normal pregnancies or non-pregnant women) was ≤0.20%. The application of the dual-probe FISH protocol on fetal cells isolated from maternal blood enables accurate molecular detection of fetal aneuploidy, thus providing a foundation for development of non-invasive prenatal diagnostic testing.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2011 · Clinical Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: This research has been designed to study the major events of nuclear remodeling that characterize sheep oocytes during the early stage of folliculogenesis (transition from preantral to antral stage). In particular, the modifications in large-scale chromatin configuration, the global DNA methylation, and the process of telomere elongation have been investigated as crucial events of oocyte nuclear maturity. In addition, the spatio-temporal distribution of the major enzymes involved in DNA methylation, the DNA methyltransferase 1 (Dnmt1), and in telomere elongation, telomerase catalytic subunit (TERT), have been described. To these aims, the nuclei of isolated oocytes were investigated using immunocytochemistry and Q-FISH analyses. In absence of preliminary information, these nuclear determinants were compared with those of fully competent germ cells obtained from medium and preovulatory antral follicles. The nuclei of sheep oocytes acquired a condensed chromatin configuration, stable high levels of global DNA methylation, and a definitive telomere length already in the majority of late growing stage oocytes (110 microm) derived from early antral follicles. In addition, while the process of methylation resulted strictly related to oocyte diameter, the telomeric program appeared to be highly chromatin configuration-dependent. The translocation of Dnmt1 and TERT from the nucleus to the cytoplasm in the oocytes derived from early antral follicles seems to confirm the definitive chromatin asset of these germ cells. In conclusion, changes in large-scale chromatin structure, epigenesis, and telomere size in the sheep are established prior to oocyte acquires the ability to resume meiosis.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2007 · Microscopy Research and Technique
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    ABSTRACT: Forty-six patients with chronic myeloid leukemia receiving imatinib mesylate (39 in chronic phase, one in accelerated phase, and six in blastic crisis), were studied for a 20-62 month follow-up period by cytogenetics and fluorescence in situ hybridization using dual-color, dual-fusion BCR and ABL probes. This approach provided valuable results for disease management of analysis.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2006 · Haematologica
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    ABSTRACT: Telomerase is crucial for chromosome stability because it maintains telomere length. Little is known about telomerase in ovarian follicles, where an intense cell division is crucial to sustain estrous cycle and to drive oocyte development. The present research was performed to detect, by immunohistochemistry, the distribution of telomerase catalytic subunit (TERT) during folliculogenesis and to study the effect of TERT expression on telomeres. To this aim, telomere length has been measured on fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH)-processed sections either in follicular or in germ cells. In primary and preantral follicles, TERT was observed in granulosa and in germ cells, with a typical nuclear location. During antral differentiation, only somatic cells close to the antrum (antral layer) and cumulus cells maintained TERT expression. The relative oocytes located TERT in the ooplasm independent from the process of meiotic maturation. FISH results indicate that a correlation exists between TERT expression and telomere size. In fact, progressively bigger telomeres were observed from preantral to antral follicles where longer structures were recorded in cells of the cumulus oophorus and of the antral layer than those of the basal one. Stable and elongated telomeres were detected in fully grown oocytes that lost the functional TERT distribution within the nucleus.
    Full-text · Article · May 2006 · Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry

  • No preview · Article · Oct 2005 · European Journal of Medical Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: Isolated elevations in midtrimester maternal serum human chorionic gonadotrophin concentrations (MShCG) have been reported to be associated with a substantially increased likelihood of fetal congenital malformations. The reported malformations included a wide range of organ systems, originating at different embryologic developmental stages. The purpose of our study was to determine the significance of an isolated elevated MShCG (>2.5 MoM) in midtrimester for the detection of fetal structural anomalies in a large population. Among 10,144 women who underwent a biochemical triple screen at 15 to 18 weeks' gestation, 463 patients, who had an elevated MShCG, but normal alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and unconjugated estriol (uE3) levels, were identified. Patients with an integrated calculated Down syndrome risk above 1:250 were excluded. Only nonsmokers, at ages <35 years, without a history of prior fetal anomalies were included. The control group consisted of 463 patients with normal serum analyte concentrations and Down syndrome risks below 1:250, who were matched for maternal age and date of biochemical screen. All patients underwent a detailed genetic sonogram in which an anatomic survey and multiple 'soft markers' for aneuploidy were looked for. Newborns were examined by a senior pediatrician trained in dysmorphology. MShCG levels were 3.18 +/- 0.72 versus 0.99 +/- 0.43 MoM (p < 0.0001) in study and control groups respectively. Sonography revealed 8 versus 6 cases of major congenital anomalies among the 463 patients of their respective groups, and 39 versus 36 sonographic 'soft markers' for aneuploidy. Fetal karyotyping and neonatal examination for dysmorphology revealed 6 chromosomal anomalies (4 Down syndrome; 2 Turner syndrome) among the 8 major malformations in the study group, but none in the controls (p < 0.0001). Three of the 39 fetuses with 'soft markers' and elevated MShCG were found to have trisomy 21. Isolated elevation of MShCG does not confer an increased risk of fetal congenital anomalies other than chromosomal abnormalities. However, elevated MShCG levels in combination with sonographic 'soft markers' for aneuploidy were associated with a high incidence of chromosomal anomalies, despite a normal biochemical triple screen risk estimate.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2005 · Prenatal Diagnosis
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    ABSTRACT: Malignant triton tumors (MTT) are rare soft-tissue tumors characterized by a mixture of cells with nerve sheath and skeletal muscle differentiation. MTT is a histological variant of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNST). No characteristic cytogenetic anomaly has been detected in MPNST or MTT. In this paper, we report on the cytogenetic findings of an MTT from a 20-year old male with neurofibromatosis (NF1). The tumoral karyotype showed the modal number to be near-diploid and an abnormal karyotype with a Robertsonian translocation and 4 markers: 49,XY,der(14;15)(q10;q10),+4mar. Spectral karyotyping revealed the karyotype: 49,XY, der(14;15)(q10;q10),+i(8)(q10)x4. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis of the tissue confirmed the presence of the additional i(8)(q10) in all tumoral cells. The sequence analysis of p53 revealed a polymorphism in exon 9, codon 329. The two alleles, TTC and TCC, codify for phenylalanine and serine, respectively. Our results indicate that all neoplastic cells have the same cytogenetic pattern, suggesting that both cell lines, which show nerve sheath and skeletal muscle differentiation, are derived from a unique stem cell. The acquired Robertsonian chromosomal recombinants might represent an event in the tumorigenesis of MTT, and the present data suggest that genes located on 8q can be involved in the development of MTT.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2004 · Cancer Genetics and Cytogenetics
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    ABSTRACT: Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is an adult hematological disease that evolves into acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in about 30% of the cases. The availability of a highly specific probe moved us to perform in patients affected with MDS/AML, associated with normal karyotype, painting and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis aimed to check the inositide-specific phospholipase C (PI-PLC) beta1 gene, a player in the control of some checkpoints of the cell cycle. Here we present a preliminary observation in which FISH analysis disclosed in a small group of MDS/AML patients with normal karyotype the monoallelic deletion of the PI-PLCbeta1 gene. On the contrary, PI-PLC beta4, another gene coding for a signaling molecule, located on 20p12.3 at a distance as far as less than 1Mb from PI-PLCbeta1, is unaffected in MDS patients with the deletion of PI-PLC beta1 gene, hinting at an interstitial deletion. The MDS patients, bearing the deletion, rapidly evolved to AML. The data suggest the possible involvement of PI-PLCbeta1 in the progression of the disease and pave the way for a larger investigation aimed at identifying a possible high-risk group among MDS patients with a normal karyotype.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2004 · Leukemia
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    ABSTRACT: Extra structurally abnormal chromosomes (ESACs) and cryptic rearrangements are often associated with mental retardation and phenotypic abnormalities. In some cases their characterisation, using standard cytogenetic techniques and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), is difficult and time consuming, where a fast and accurate identification is essential, especially when such chromosomal aberrations are found in prenatal diagnosis. A recent molecular technique, spectral karyotyping (SKY), based on the spectral signature of 24 chromosome-specific painting probes labelled with different combinations of five fluorochromes, allows the simultaneous visualisation of all human chromosomes in different colours. We used SKY analysis on 14 cases with rare ESACs or cryptic unbalanced rearrangements found at pre- or postnatal diagnosis. SKY analysis permitted the classification of chromosome rearrangements in all 14 cases analysed in combination with FISH analysis.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2004 · American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A
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    ABSTRACT: A patient with refractory anaemia with excess of blasts (RAEB) had a complex karyotype with multiple markers. Spectral karyotyping (SKY) showed rearrangements including three different der(11), containing a very high number of MLL gene copies, shown by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis. Fibre-FISH experiments disclosed the presence of chromatin fibres with multiple MLL copies with a head-to-tail pattern. Apparently, no other region flanking the MLL site was present in the three der(11). MLL amplification was confirmed by the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The patient died 6 months after diagnosis, supporting the severe prognosis of sole MLL amplification.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2003 · British Journal of Haematology
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    ABSTRACT: A fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) study was performed in 56 patients with short stature of unknown cause in order to establish the role of deletion of the SHOX gene in this population. FISH analysis was carried out on metaphase spreads and interphase lymphocytes from blood smears using a probe specific for the SHOX gene. Deletion of SHOX was found in four patients (7.1%). No skeletal abnormalities were detected in these patients either at the physical examination or at X-rays of the upper and lower limbs. Present results indicate that SHOX plays an important role also in short stature of unknown cause, and FISH analysis appears as an easy, appropriate, and inexpensive method for the detection of SHOX deletion.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2003 · American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A
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    Full-text · Article · Mar 2003 · Journal of Medical Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: Eighteen patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) were investigated using spectral karyotyping (SKY), and multicolor fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) banding analyses. SKY analysis confirmed previous results in patients with G-banded diploid karyotype. Nevertheless in three out of five patients with two or more chromosomal abnormalities, SKY and multicolor banding methods refined the abnormal karyotypes and revealed cryptic anomalies.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2002 · Haematologica
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    ABSTRACT: The long arm of the Y chromosome contains genes mapped in loci involved in male infertility, short stature and gonadoblastoma. However, many of these genes have not been fully characterized, and are not currently investigated in patients affected by such diseases. We report a study aimed to the genomic characterization of 5 genes mapped within the Y chromosome: BPY2, PRY, TTY1, TTY2, and VCY. Exon-intron boundaries were detected for each gene, and PCR analysis was carried out to investigate the involvement of these genes in different re-arrangements of the Y chromosome. It was found that BPY2 and PRY are lost in some infertile patients with Yq microdeletions, suggesting that they could play a role in male gametogenesis. On the other hand, these patients retain some copies of TTYI and TTY2 genes, due to the presence of copies in Yp, and of VCY, which has homologous copies on the X chromosome. On the basis of their localization, these genes could be candidate for the gonadoblastoma locus (TTY1, TTY2) and for the control growth locus (VCY).
    No preview · Article · Dec 2000 · Journal of endocrinological investigation
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    ABSTRACT: A patient with a Ph-positive chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) was submitted to allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplantation from an HLA-haploidentical related donor 7 years after the diagnosis. Six months later, he showed a disease relapse while cytogenetic analysis displayed a complex karyotype. To characterise the chromosomal rearrangements spectral karyotype (SKY) analysis was used. This redefined all chromosome rearrangements and revealed a t(20;21)(q11;q22). FISH analysis with a specific probe for the AML1 gene disclosed disruption of this gene which was partially translocated on to the long arm of chromosome 20. It is likely that this rearrangement, unusual for CML, was implicated in the disease evolution towards blastic crisis (BC).
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2000 · Bone Marrow Transplantation
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    ABSTRACT: Five patients with acute myeloid leukemia showing several complex rearrangements were examined by spectral karyotype (SKY) analysis. Twenty rearrangement, misclassified or undetected by standard cytogenetic techniques, were identified. The present study supports the ability of SKY to detect the organization of chromosome rearrangements and to identify new prognostic markers.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2000 · Haematologica
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    ABSTRACT: Duane syndrome (MIM 126800) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterised by primary strabismus and other ocular anomalies, associated with variable deficiency of binocular sight. We have recently identified a < 3 cM smallest region of deletion overlap (SRO) by comparing interstitial deletions at band 8q13 in two patients (one described by Vincent et al, 1994, and the other by Calabrese et al, 1998). Here we report on another patient with Duane syndrome carrying a reciprocal translation t(6;8)(q26;q13). FISH and PCR analyses using a YAC contig spanning the SRO narrowed the Duane region to a < 1 cM interval between markers SHGC37325 and W14901. In addition, the identification and mapping of two PAC clones flanking the translocation breakpoint, allowed us to further narrow the critical region to about 40 kb. As part of these mapping studies, we have also refined the map position of AMYB, a putative candidate gene, to 8q13, centromeric to Duane locus. AMYB is expressed in brain cortex and genital crests and has been previously mapped to 8q22.
    Full-text · Article · May 2000 · European Journal of HumanGenetics
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    ABSTRACT: Methods. A study performed on 8031 pregnant women to evaluate the effectiveness of sequential screening for fetal aneuploidy in respect of triple test is reported. Results. Among the 3859 pregnancies screened using the sequential screening, 147 women (3.8%) had a positive test and underwent amniocentesis. Down's syndrome (DS) was detected in 12 fetuses (1:12 positive tests) with a detection rate (DR) >99%, while 135 were false positive cases (FP)(3.4%). Among the 4172 pregnancies screened using the triple test, 319 women (7.6%) had a positive test and underwent amniocentesis. DS was detected in 9 fetuses (1:35 positive tests) with a DR 90%, while 310 were FP cases (7.4%). A false negative (FN) was observed in a 35 years old woman. Conclusions. Our data show that sequential screening is more advantageous in respect of triple test, is effective, and can reduce the number of invasive tests that are performed.
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Publication Stats

283 Citations
73.92 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2003-2012
    • Università degli Studi G. d'Annunzio Chieti e Pescara
      • Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche
      Chieta, Abruzzo, Italy
  • 2006
    • Università degli Studi di Teramo
      • Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences
      Teramo, Abruzzo, Italy