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Identification of a 650 kb duplication at the X chromosome breakpoint in a patient with 46,X,t(X;8)(q28;q12) and non-syndromic mental retardation


A female patient with non-syndromic mental retardation was shown by high resolution GTL banding to have inherited an apparently balanced translocation, 46,X,t(X;8)(q28;q12)mat. Replication studies in the mother and daughter showed a skewed X inactivation pattern in lymphocytes, with the normal X chromosome preferentially inactivated. The mother also had significant intellectual disability. To investigate the possibility that a novel candidate gene for XLMR was disrupted at the X chromosome translocation breakpoint, we mapped the breakpoint using fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH). This showed that the four known genes involved in non-syndromic mental retardation in Xq28, FMR2, SLC6A8, MECP2, and GDI1, were not involved in the translocation. Intriguingly, we found that the X chromosome breakpoint in the daughter could not be defined by a single breakpoint spanning genomic clone and further analysis showed a 650 kb submicroscopic duplication between DXS7067 and DXS7060 on either side of the X chromosome translocation breakpoint. This duplicated region contains 11 characterised genes, of which nine are expressed in brain. Duplication of one or several of the genes within the 650 kb interval is likely to be responsible for the mental retardation phenotype seen in our patient. Xq28 appears to be an unstable region of the human genome and genomic rearrangements are recognised as major causes of two single gene defects, haemophilia A and incontinentia pigmenti, which map within Xq28. This patient therefore provides further evidence for the instability of this genomic region.

  • translocation
  • X chromosome
  • MRX
  • mental retardation
  • XLMR, non-syndromic X linked mental retardation
  • FISH, fluorescence in situ hybridisation
  • HR-CGH, high resolution comparative genomic hybridisation

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