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(1/933) Williams-Beuren syndrome: genes and mechanisms.

Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS; OMIM 194050) is caused by heterozygous deletions of approximately 1.6 Mb of chromosomal sub-band 7q11.23. The deletions are rather uniform in size as they arise spontaneously by inter- or intrachromosomal crossover events within misaligned duplicated regions of high sequence identity that flank the typical deletion. This review will discuss the status of the molecular characterization of the deletion and flanking regions, the genes identified in the deletion region and their possible roles in generating the complex multi-system clinical phenotype.  (+info)

(2/933) Oxymetholone: I. Evaluation in a comprehensive battery of genetic toxicology and in vitro transformation assays.

Oxymetholone is generally assumed to be a nongenotoxic carcinogen. This assumption is based primarily on the results of an Ames test, existing data in repeat-dose toxicology studies, and the predicted results of a 2-yr National Toxicology Program (NTP) rat carcinogenicity bioassay. To provide a comprehensive assessment of its genotoxicity in a standard battery of mutagenicity assays, oxymetholone was tested in microbial and mammalian cell gene mutation assays, in an in vitro cytogenetics assay (human lymphocytes), and in an in vivo micronucleus assay. Oxymetholone was also tested in an in vitro morphologic transformation model using Syrian hamster embryo (SHE) cells. These studies were initiated and completed prior to the disclosure of the results of the NTP bioassay. Oxymetholone was tested at doses up to 5,000 microg/plate in the bacterial plate incorporation assay using 4 Salmonella strains and the WP2 uvrA (pKM101) strain of Escherichia coil. There was no induction of revertants up to the highest dose levels, which were insoluble as well as toxic. In the L5178Y tk+/- mouse lymphoma assay, doses up to 30 microg/ml reduced relative survival to approximately 30% with no increase in mutants. Male or female human lymphocytes were exposed in vitro to oxymetholone for 24 hr without S9 or 3 hr with S9 and evaluated for the induction of chromosomal aberrations. There was no increase in aberration frequency over control levels and no difference between male and female cells. Peripheral blood from Tg.AC transgenic mice treated dermally for 20 wk with 0, 1.2, 6.0, or 12.0 mg/day of oxymetholone and from p53 transgenic mice treated orally by gavage for 26 wk with 125, 625, or 1,250 mg/kg/day of oxymetholone was evaluated for micronuclei in polychromatic and normochromatic erythrocytes. There was no difference in micronuclei frequency between control and treated animals. These results confirm that oxymetholone is not genotoxic in a comprehensive battery of mutagenicity assays. In the SHE assay, oxymetholone produced a significant increase in morphologically transformed colonies at dose levels of 13-18 microg/ml. The lack of genotoxicity of oxymetholone, the positive response in the in vitro transformation assay, and the results of transgenic mouse carcinogenicity assays will provide an interesting perspective on the results of an on-going NTP rat carcinogenicity bioassay.  (+info)

(3/933) A new dosage test for subtelomeric 4;10 translocations improves conventional diagnosis of facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD).

Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is caused by the size reduction of a polymorphic repeat array on 4q35. Probe p13E-11 recognises this chromosomal rearrangement and is generally used for diagnosis. However, diagnosis of FSHD is complicated by three factors. First, the probe cross hybridises to a highly homologous repeat array locus on chromosome 10q26. Second, although a BlnI polymorphism allows discrimination between the repeat units on chromosomes 4 and 10 and greatly facilitates FSHD diagnosis, the occurrence of translocations between chromosomes 4 and 10 further complicates accurate FSHD diagnosis. Third, the recent identification of deletions of p13E-11 in both control and FSHD populations is an additional complicating factor. Although pulsed field gel electrophoresis is very useful and sometimes necessary to detect these rearrangements, this technique is not operational in most FSHD diagnostic laboratories. Moreover, repeat arrays >200 kb are often difficult to detect and can falsely suggest a deletion of p13E-11. Therefore, we have developed an easy and reliable Southern blotting method to identify exchanges between 4 type and 10 type repeat arrays and deletions of p13E-11. This BglII-BlnI dosage test addresses all the above mentioned complicating factors and can be carried out in addition to the standard Southern blot analysis for FSHD diagnosis as performed in most laboratories. It will enhance the specificity and sensitivity of conventional FSHD diagnosis to the values obtained by PFGE based diagnosis of FSHD. Moreover, this study delimits the FSHD candidate gene region by mapping the 4;10 translocation breakpoint proximal to the polymorphic BlnI site in the first repeat unit.  (+info)

(4/933) Stage, percentage of basophils at diagnosis, hematologic response within six months, cytogenetic response in the first year: the main prognostic variables affecting outcome in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia in chronic phase treated with interferon-alpha. Results of the CML89 trial of the Spanish Collaborative Group on interferon-alpha2a and CML.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Interferon-a (IFN) is increasingly being used as the drug of choice in chronic myeloid leukemia patients. The main objectives of the study were to study the influence of the classic prognostic variables and response to IFN, and to assess the influence of this response on the course of the disease and survival. DESIGN AND METHODS: Single arm, prospective, multicenter study, without a control group. Only Ph1-positive CML patients were included. The treatment scheme was biphasic: the patients first received standard chemotherapy and thereafter IFN-a2a was used as monotherapy, with a target dose of 9 MU/d/s.c. RESULTS: Twenty-one centers in Spain enrolled 132 patients (72 men, 60 women). The median dose of IFN given was 5.8 MU/d, and the median treatment duration was 431 days (range: 18-2,597). Seventy-two percent of patients obtained a hematologic response in the first six months of IFN treatment. Genetic response was obtained in 47% of the patients, and the response was major or complete in 27% and 19%, respectively. The median time to obtain this response was 7, 9, and 18 months for minimal, partial and complete genetic response, respectively. Multivariant analysis showed that only a higher percentage of basophils at diagnosis was associated with a worse hematologic response at six months (p=0.001) (OR: 1.23) and with a worse cytogenetic response in the first year of IFN therapy (p=0.018) (OR: 1.4). Over an observation period of 8 years, 35.6% of the patients died, and 85 (64.4%) remained alive. With a median follow-up of 42 months (3.7-98), the 6-year projected probabilities of survival and transformation-free survival were 0.61+/-0.07 vs. 0.54+/-0.07, respectively. Patients with Kantarjian's stage 3 disease or in a high-risk Sokal group had lower probabilities of survival, but these systems did not adequately discriminate in our series. Obtaining a complete hematologic response in the first six months of IFN therapy was favorable in terms of overall survival (p=0.05; HR=0.33). Cox's analysis demonstrated that obtaining a cytogenetic response in the first year was independently associated with better overall survival (p=0.04; HR=0.19) and better transformation-free survival (p=0.0035; HR=0.11). INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS: Nearly half of the patients obtained some degree of Philadelphia suppression, which was major in 27%, and complete in 19%. A higher percentage of basophils at diagnosis was the only variable associated with a lower probability of cytogenetic response. Obtaining a cytogenetic response during the first year of IFN treatment was a favorable and independent variable in terms of survival and transformation-free survival. Obtaining a major cytogenetic response during this period decreased the risk of transformation twenty times. Our results suggest that the effect of IFN on survival is independent of the classic prognostic variables.  (+info)

(5/933) In vivo gene expression profile analysis of human breast cancer progression.

The development and use of molecular-based therapy for breast cancer and other human malignancies will require a detailed molecular genetic analysis of patient tissues. The recent development of laser capture microdissection and high density cDNA arrays now provides a unique opportunity to generate gene expression profiles of cells from various stages of tumor progression as it occurs in the actual neoplastic tissue milieu. We report the combined use of laser capture microdissection and high-throughput cDNA microarrays to monitor in vivo gene expression levels in purified normal, invasive, and metastatic breast cell populations from a single patient. These in vivo gene expression profiles were verified by real-time quantitative PCR and immunohistochemistry. The combined use of laser capture microdissection and cDNA microarray analysis provides a powerful new approach to elucidate the in vivo molecular events surrounding the development and progression of breast cancer and is generally applicable to the study of malignancy.  (+info)

(6/933) Evidence for an ependymoma tumour suppressor gene in chromosome region 22pter-22q11.2.

Ependymomas are glial tumours of the brain and spinal cord. The most frequent genetic change in sporadic ependymoma is monosomy 22, suggesting the presence of an ependymoma tumour suppressor gene on that chromosome. Clustering of ependymomas has been reported to occur in some families. From an earlier study in a family in which four cousins developed an ependymoma, we concluded that an ependymoma-susceptibility gene, which is not the NF2 gene in 22q12, might be located on chromosome 22. To localize that gene, we performed a segregation analysis with chromosome 22 markers in this family. This analysis revealed that the susceptibility gene may be located proximal to marker D22S941 in 22pter-22q11.2. Comparative genomic hybridization showed that monosomy 22 was the sole detectable genetic aberration in the tumour of one of the patients. Loss of heterozygosity studies in that tumour revealed that, in accordance to Knudson's two-hit theory of tumorigenesis, the lost chromosome 22 originated from the parent presumed to have contributed the wild-type allele of the susceptibility gene. Thus, our segregation and tumour studies collectively indicate that an ependymoma tumour suppressor gene may be present in region 22pter-22q11.2.  (+info)

(7/933) Detection of circulating tumour cells in patients with breast or ovarian cancer by molecular cytogenetics.

Detection of micrometastases in patients with solid tumours may aid the establishment of prognosis and development of new therapeutic approaches. This study was designed to investigate the presence and frequency of tumour cells in the peripheral blood (PB) of patients with breast or ovarian cancer by using a combination of magnetic activated cell sorting (MACS) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Separated tumour cell and PB-samples from 48 patients (35 breast cancers, 12 ovarian tumours, one uterine sarcoma) were analysed for the presence of numerical aberrations of chromosomes 7, 12, 17 and 17 q11.2-q12. Twenty-five patients had primary disease and 23 had relapsed. The technique allows the detection of one tumour cell in 106 normal cells. Circulating tumour cells were detected in 35/48 cases (17 patients had relapsed and 13 primary carcinoma with lymph node or solid metastases) by the expression of anti-cytokeratin and the presence of numerical chromosomal abnormalities. PB-tumour cells of patients with a primary carcinoma and without solid metastases had a significantly lower percentage of chromosomal aberrations, especially for chromosome 12 (P = 0.035; P = 0.038) compared to those with relapsed disease and solid metastases. Detection and quantification of minimal residual disease may monitor the response to cytotoxic or hormonal therapy and may identify women at risk of relapse.  (+info)

(8/933) Neocentromere formation in a stable ring 1p32-p36.1 chromosome.

Neocentromeres are functional centromeres formed in chromosome regions outside the normal centromere domains and are found in an increasing number of mitotically stable human marker chromosomes in both neoplastic and non-neoplastic cells. We describe here the formation of a neocentromere in a previously undescribed chromosomal region at 1p32-->p36.1 in an oligospermic patient. Cytogenetic GTL banding analysis and the absence of detectable fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) signals using telomeric probes indicate the marker to be a ring chromosome. The chromosome is negative for CBG banding and is devoid of detectable centromeric alpha satellite and its associated centromere protein CENP-B, suggesting activation of a neocentromere within the 1p32-36.1 region. Functional activity of the neocentromere is shown by the retention of the ring chromosome in 97% of the patient's lymphocytes and 100% of his cultured fibroblasts, as well as by the presence of key centromere binding proteins CENP-E, CENP-F, and INCENP. These results indicate that in addition to CENP-A, CENP-C, and CENP-E described in earlier studies, neocentromere activity can further be defined by CENP-F and INCENP binding. Our evidence suggests that neocentromere formation constitutes a viable mechanism for the mitotic stabilisation of acentric ring chromosomes.  (+info)