Protein levels of genes encoded on chromosome 21 in fetal Down syndrome brain: Challenging the gene dosage effect hypothesis (Part IV)

Amino Acids. 2003 Jul;25(1):41-7. doi: 10.1007/s00726-003-0009-9.


Down syndrome (DS) is the most frequent genetic disorder with mental retardation and caused by trisomy 21. Although the molecular mechanisms of the various phenotypes of DS could be due to overexpression of gene(s) on chromosome 21, several groups have challenged this gene dosage effect hypothesis. The near completion of the sequencing of human chromosome 21 provides unprecedented opportunities to understand the molecular pathology of DS, however, functional information on gene products is limited so far. We therefore evaluated the levels of six proteins whose genes are encoded on chromosome 21 (trefoil factor 1, trefoil factor 2, trefoil factor 3, coxsackie virus and adenovirus receptor, carbonyl reductase 1 and interferon- alpha receptor) in fetal cerebral cortex from DS and controls at the early second trimester using Western blot analysis. None of the investigated proteins showed overexpression in DS compared to controls suggesting that these proteins are not involved in abnormal development of fetal DS brain and that DS phenotype can not be simply explained by the gene dosage effect hypothesis. We are systematically quantifying all proteins whose genes are encoded on chromosome 21 and these studies may provide a better understanding of genotype-phenotype correlation in DS.

MeSH terms

  • Brain / embryology*
  • Brain / physiology
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 21 / genetics*
  • Down Syndrome / genetics*
  • Female
  • Fetus / physiopathology*
  • Gene Dosage*
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Trefoil Factor-2


  • Proteins
  • TFF2 protein, human
  • Trefoil Factor-2