Frequency of Chromosome Healing and Interstitial Telomeres in 40 Cases of Constitutional Abnormalities.
Human telomeres play a major role in stabilizing chromosome ends and preventing fusions. Chromosomes bearing a broken end are rescued by the acquisition of a new telomeric cap without any subtelomeric sequences being present at the breakpoint, a process referred to as chromosome healing. Conversely, a loss of telomeric function or integrity can lead to the presence of interstitial telomeres at the junction site in translocations or ring chromosomes. In order to determine the frequency at which interstitial telomeres or chromosome healing events are observed in target chromosome abnormalities, we conducted a retrospective FISH study using pan-telomeric and chromosome-specific subtelomeric probes on archival material from 40 cases of terminal deletions, translocations or ring chromosomes. Of the 19 terminal deletions investigated, 17 were negative for the subtelomeric probe specific to the deleted arm despite being positive for the pan-telomeric probe. These 17 cases were thus considered as been rescued through chromosome healing, suggesting that this process is frequent in terminal deletions. In addition, as two of these cases were inherited from a parent bearing the same deletion, chromosomes healed by this process are thus stable through mitosis and meiosis. Regarding the 13 cases of translocations and eight ring chromosomes, four and two cases respectively demonstrated pan-telomeric sequences at the interstitial junction point. Furthermore, two cases of translocations and one ring chromosome had both interstitial pan-telomeres and subtelomeres, whereas two other cases of ring chromosomes and one case of translocation only showed interstitial subtelomeres. Therefore, interstitial (sub)telomeric sequences in translocations and ring chromosomes are more common than previously thought, as we found a frequency of 43% in this study. Moreover, our results illustrate the necessity of performing FISH with both subtelomeric and pan-telomeric probes when investigating these rearrangements, as the breakpoints can be either in the distal part of the pan-telomeres, or in between the two types of sequences.
Publisher(s)S. Karger AG, Basel
Fortin Fléchère, Beulieu Bergeron Mélanie, Fetni Raouf, Lemieux Nicole (2009). Frequency of Chromosome Healing and Interstitial Telomeres in 40 Cases of Constitutional Abnormalities. Cytogenetic and Genome Research, 125(3): 176-185, DOI: 10.1159/0002300002