Sex-specific recombination patterns predict parent of origin for recurrent genomic disorders

BMC Med Genomics. 2021 Jun 9;14(1):154. doi: 10.1186/s12920-021-00999-8.


Background: Structural rearrangements of the genome, which generally occur during meiosis and result in large-scale (> 1 kb) copy number variants (CNV; deletions or duplications ≥ 1 kb), underlie genomic disorders. Recurrent pathogenic CNVs harbor similar breakpoints in multiple unrelated individuals and are primarily formed via non-allelic homologous recombination (NAHR). Several pathogenic NAHR-mediated recurrent CNV loci demonstrate biases for parental origin of de novo CNVs. However, the mechanism underlying these biases is not well understood.

Methods: We performed a systematic, comprehensive literature search to curate parent of origin data for multiple pathogenic CNV loci. Using a regression framework, we assessed the relationship between parental CNV origin and the male to female recombination rate ratio.

Results: We demonstrate significant association between sex-specific differences in meiotic recombination and parental origin biases at these loci (p = 1.07 × 10-14).

Conclusions: Our results suggest that parental origin of CNVs is largely influenced by sex-specific recombination rates and highlight the need to consider these differences when investigating mechanisms that cause structural variation.

Keywords: 3q29 deletion; Copy number variants; Meiotic recombination; Parent of origin.