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Molecular genetic classification in Prader-Willi syndrome: a multisite cohort study

Abstract

Background Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is due to errors in genomic imprinting. PWS is recognised as the most common known genetic cause of life-threatening obesity. This report summarises the frequency and further characterises the PWS molecular classes and maternal age effects.

Methods High-resolution microarrays, comprehensive chromosome 15 genotyping and methylation-specific multiplex ligation probe amplification were used to describe and further characterise molecular classes of maternal disomy 15 (UPD15) considering maternal age.

Results We summarised genetic data from 510 individuals with PWS and 303 (60%) had the 15q11-q13 deletion; 185 (36%) with UPD15 and 22 (4%) with imprinting defects. We further characterised UPD15 findings into subclasses based on the presence (size, location) or absence of loss of heterozygosity (LOH). Additionally, significantly older mothers (mean age=32.5 years vs 27.7 years) were found in the UPD15 group (n=145) compared with the deletion subtype (n=200).

Conclusions We report on molecular classes in PWS using advanced genomic technology in the largest cohort to date. LOH patterns in UPD15 may impact the risk of having a second genetic condition if the mother carries a recessive mutant allele in the isodisomic region on chromosome 15. The risk of UPD15 may also increase with maternal age.

  • Prader-Willi syndrome
  • molecular genetic classification
  • pws deletion subtypes
  • PWS maternal disomy subclasses
  • maternal age effects

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