A Central Role of Telomere Dysfunction in the Formation of a Unique Translocation within the Sub-Telomere Region Resulting in Duplication and Partial Trisomy

Genes (Basel). 2022 Sep 29;13(10):1762. doi: 10.3390/genes13101762.


Telomeres play a major role in maintaining genome stability and integrity. Putative involvement of telomere dysfunction in the formation of various types of chromosomal aberrations is an area of active research. Here, we report a case of a six-month-old boy with a chromosomal gain encompassing the 11q22.3q25 region identified by SNP array analysis. The size of the duplication is 26.7 Mb and contains 170 genes (OMIM). The duplication results in partial trisomy of the region in question with clinical consequences, including bilateral renal dysplasia, delayed development, and a heart defect. Moreover, the karyotype determined by R-banding and chromosome painting as well as by hybridization with specific sub-telomere probes revealed the presence of an unbalanced t(9;11)(p24;q22.3) translocation with a unique breakpoint involving the sub-telomere region of the short arm of chromosome 9. The karyotypes of the parents were normal. Telomere integrity in circulating lymphocytes from the child and from his parents was assessed using an automated high-throughput method based on fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with telomere- and centromere-specific PNA probes followed by M-FISH multicolor karyotyping. Very short telomeres, as well as an increased frequency of telomere loss and formation of telomere doublets, were detected in the child's cells. Interestingly, similar telomere profiles were found in the circulating lymphocytes of the father. Moreover, an assessment of clonal telomere aberrations identified chromosomes 9 and 11 with particularly high frequencies of such aberrations. These findings strongly suggest that telomere dysfunction plays a central role in the formation of this specific unbalanced chromosome rearrangement via chromosome end-to-end fusion and breakage-fusion-bridge cycles.

Keywords: chromosomal instability; duplication; postnatal; sub-telomere region; telomere; trisomy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Chromosome Banding
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Telomere / genetics
  • Translocation, Genetic* / genetics
  • Trisomy* / genetics

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.