Genetic mapping using microcell-mediated chromosome transfer suggests a locus for Nijmegen breakage syndrome at chromosome 8q21-24

Am J Hum Genet. 1997 Jun;60(6):1487-94. doi: 10.1086/515461.


Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by microcephaly, short stature, immunodeficiency, and a high incidence of cancer. Cultured cells from NBS show chromosome instability, an increased sensitivity to radiation-induced cell killing, and an abnormal cell-cycle regulation after irradiation. Hitherto, patients with NBS have been divided into the two complementation groups V1 and V2, on the basis of restoration of radioresistant DNA synthesis, suggesting that each group arises from a different gene. However, the presence of genetic heterogeneity in NBS has been considered to be controversial. To localize the NBS gene, we have performed functional complementation assays using somatic cell fusion between NBS-V1 and NBS-V2 cells, on the basis of hyper-radiosensitivity, and then have performed a genomewide search for the NBS locus, using microcell-mediated chromosome transfer followed by complementation assays based on radiosensitivity. We found that radiation resistance was not restored in the fused NBS-V1 and NBS-V2 cells and that only human chromosome 8 complements the sensitivity to ionizing radiation, in NBS cell lines. In complementation assays performed after the transfer of a reduced chromosome, merely the long arm of chromosome 8 was sufficient for restoring the defect. Our results strongly suggest that NBS is a homogeneous disorder and that the gene for NBS is located at 8q21-24.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / genetics*
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia / genetics*
  • Cell Fusion
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Cell Survival / radiation effects
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 8*
  • DNA Replication / radiation effects
  • Dwarfism / genetics
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Genetic Techniques
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / genetics
  • Microcephaly / genetics
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Syndrome