Cryptic translocation identification in human and mouse using several telomeric multiplex fish (TM-FISH) strategies

Lab Invest. 2001 Apr;81(4):483-91. doi: 10.1038/labinvest.3780256.


Experimental data published in recent years showed that up to 10% of all cases of mild to severe idiopathic mental retardation may result from small rearrangements of the subtelomeric regions of human chromosomes. To detect such cryptic translocations, we developed a "telomeric" multiplex fluorescence in situ hybridization (M-FISH) assay, using a set of previously published and commercially available subtelomeric probes. This set of probes includes 41 cosmid/PAC/P1 clones located from less than 100 kilobases to approximately 1 megabase from the end of the chromosomes. Similarly, a published mouse probe set, comprised of BACs hybridizing to the closest known marker toward the centromere and telomere of each mouse chromosome, was used to develop a mouse-specific "telomeric" M-FISH. Three different combinatorial labeling strategies were used to simultaneously detect all human subtelomeric regions on one slide. The simplest approach uses only three fluors and can be performed in laboratories lacking sophisticated imaging equipment or personnel highly trained in cytogenetics. A standard fluorescence microscope equipped with only three filters is sufficient. Fluor-dUTPs and labeled probes can be custom made, thus dramatically reducing costs. Images can be prepared using imaging software (Adobe Photoshop) and analysis performed by simple visual inspection.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / ultrastructure
  • Chromosome Aberrations / diagnosis*
  • Chromosome Disorders
  • Chromosomes, Human / ultrastructure*
  • Color
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence / methods*
  • Intellectual Disability / diagnosis
  • Karyotyping / methods*
  • Mice
  • Telomere*
  • Translocation, Genetic*


  • Fluorescent Dyes