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Cytogenetic contribution to uniparental disomy (UPD)

Author(s): Liehr Thomas

Journal: Molecular Cytogenetics
ISSN 1755-8166

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 8;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Abstract Uniparental disomy (UPD) is often considered as an event to be characterized exclusively by molecular genetic or epigenetic approaches. This review shows that at least one third of UPD cases emerge in connection with or due to a chromosomal rearrangement. Thus, additional (molecular) cytogenetic characterization of UPD cases is essential. Up to now > 1,100 UPD cases detected in clinical, non-tumor cases are reported in the literature. Recently, these cases were summarized in a regularly updated, freely available online database Based of this, here the presently known imprinting syndromes, the chromosomal contribution to UPD phenomenon, and the cytogenetic subgroups of UPD, including cases with normal, abnormal balanced or unbalanced karyotype (like e.g. small supernumerary marker chromosomes and Robertsonian translocations) and segmental UPD are reviewed. Furthermore, chromosome fragmentation as a possible mechanism of trisomic rescue is discussed, which might help to explain the observed 1:9 rate of maternal versus paternal UPD present in cases with original trisomic karyotypes. Overall, as UPD is more but an interesting rarity, the genetic background of each "UPD-patient" needs to be characterized besides by molecular methods, also by molecular cytogenetics in detail.
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