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Novel mechanisms of gene disruption at the medulloblastoma isodicentric 17p11 breakpoint

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Steven CliffordORCiD, Professor David Ellison


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Isodicentric 17q is the most commonly reported chromosomal abnormality in medulloblastomas. Its frequency suggests that genes disrupted in medulloblastoma formation may play a role in tumorigenesis. We have previously identified two chromosome 17 breakpoint at a 1 Mb resolution. Our aims were to accurately map the position of these breakpoints and to identify mechanisms of gene disruption at this site. CGH with a custom tiling path genomic BAC array of chromosome 17 enriched with fosmids at the breakpoint regions was used to analyze a series of 45 medulloblastomas and three medulloblastoma-derived cell lines. In total, 17 of 45 medulloblastomas had an isodicentric 17q. Two breakpoint regions were identified and their positions were mapped. The array identified a more complex arrangement at the breakpoint than has been reported previously using lower resolution BAC arrays. The patterns observed indicated that dicentric chromosome formation occurs both via nonallelic homologous recombination between palindromically arranged low copy repeats (the previously accepted mechanism) and by recombination between nonidentical sequences. In addition, novel alternative structural alterations, a homozygous deletion and a duplication, were identified within the chromosome breakpoint region in two cases. At the resolution of the array, these structural alterations spanned the same genes as cases with dicentric 17q formation, implying that the disruption of genes at the chromosome breakpoint itself may be of greater biological significance than has previously been suspected.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McCabe MG, Ichimura K, Pearson DM, Liu L, Clifford SC, Ellison DW, Collins VP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Genes, Chromosomes & Cancer

Year: 2009

Volume: 48

Issue: 2

Pages: 121-131

ISSN (print): 1045-2257

ISSN (electronic): 1098-2264

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


DOI: 10.1002/gcc.20625


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