, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 1-12

Preferential derivation of abnormal human G-group-like chromosomes from chromosome 15

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The marked binding of antibodies specific for 5-methylcytidine to the short arm of chromosome 15 distinguishes this chromosome from the other human acrocentrics. This method has been used to study over 60 individuals including 12 who did not have Down's syndrome, but who did have an extra G-group sized acrocentric chromosome. In six cases the extra chromosome did not show intensive binding of anti-5-methylcytidine. In the other six cases, the extra chromosome contained a 5-methylcytidine rich band at each end indicating that both ends were derived from chromosome 15 and contained centromeric heterochromatin normally present on the short arm of chromosome 15. The duplication of short arm material in the abnormal chromosomes was confirmed in all cases by quinacrine staining, nucleolar organizer (Ag-AS) staining or C-banding. In three cases, the abnormal chromosome appeared to arise from two different chromosomes 15. Several possible mechanisms for the production of the abnormal chromosome are discussed. The individuals with this abnormal chromosome all showed some degree of mental retardation, but few common physical findings.