Derivative 22 (der) syndrome is a rare disorder associated with multiple congenital anomalies, including profound mental retardation, preauricular skin tags or pits, and conotruncal heart defects. It can occur in offspring of carriers of the constitutional t(11;22)(q23;q11) translocation, owing to a 3:1 meiotic malsegregation event resulting in partial trisomy of chromosomes 11 and 22. The trisomic region on chromosome 22 overlaps the region hemizygously deleted in another congenital anomaly disorder, velo-cardio-facial syndrome/DiGeorge syndrome (VCFS/DGS). Most patients with VCFS/DGS have a similar 3-Mb deletion, whereas some have a nested distal deletion endpoint resulting in a 1.5-Mb deletion, and a few rare patients have unique deletions. To define the interval on 22q11 containing the t(11;22) breakpoint, haplotype analysis and FISH mapping were performed for five patients with der(22) syndrome. Analysis of all the patients was consistent with 3:1 meiotic malsegregation in the t(11;22) carrier parent. FISH-mapping studies showed that the t(11;22) breakpoint occurred in the same interval as the 1.5- Mb distal deletion breakpoint for VCFS. The deletion breakpoint of one VCFS patient with an unbalanced t(18;22) translocation also occurred in the same region. Hamster-human somatic hybrid cell lines from a patient with der(22) syndrome and a patient with VCFS showed that the breakpoints occurred in an interval containing low-copy repeats, distal to RANBP1 and proximal to ZNF74. The presence of low-copy repetitive sequences may confer susceptibility to chromosome rearrangements. A 1.5-Mb region of overlap on 22q11 in both syndromes suggests the presence of dosage-dependent genes in this interval.
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