Publications by authors named "Olga Zilina"

22 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Creating basis for introducing non-invasive prenatal testing in the Estonian public health setting.

Prenat Diagn 2019 12 6;39(13):1262-1268. Epub 2019 Nov 6.

Competence Centre on Health Technologies, Tartu, Estonia.

Objective: The study aimed to validate a whole-genome sequencing-based NIPT laboratory method and our recently developed NIPTmer aneuploidy detection software with the potential to integrate the pipeline into prenatal clinical care in Estonia.

Method: In total, 424 maternal blood samples were included. Analysis pipeline involved cell-free DNA extraction, library preparation and massively parallel sequencing on Illumina platform. Aneuploidies were determined with NIPTmer software, which is based on counting pre-defined per-chromosome sets of unique k-mers from sequencing raw data. SeqFF was implemented to estimate cell-free fetal DNA (cffDNA) fraction.

Results: NIPTmer identified correctly all samples of non-mosaic trisomy 21 (T21, 15/15), T18 (9/9), T13 (4/4) and monosomy X (4/4) cases, with the 100% sensitivity. However, one mosaic T18 remained undetected. Six false-positive (FP) results were observed (FP rate of 1.5%, 6/398), including three for T18 (specificity 99.3%) and three for T13 (specificity 99.3%). The level of cffDNA of <4% was estimated in eight samples, including one sample with T13 and T18. Despite low cffDNA level, these two samples were determined as aneuploid.

Conclusion: We believe that the developed NIPT method can successfully be used as a universal primary screening test in combination with ultrasound scan for the first trimester fetal examination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pd.5578DOI Listing
December 2019

In vitro fertilization does not increase the incidence of de novo copy number alterations in fetal and placental lineages.

Nat Med 2019 11 4;25(11):1699-1705. Epub 2019 Nov 4.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.

Although chromosomal instability (CIN) is a common phenomenon in cleavage-stage embryogenesis following in vitro fertilization (IVF), its rate in naturally conceived human embryos is unknown. CIN leads to mosaic embryos that contain a combination of genetically normal and abnormal cells, and is significantly higher in in vitro-produced preimplantation embryos as compared to in vivo-conceived preimplantation embryos. Even though embryos with CIN-derived complex aneuploidies may arrest between the cleavage and blastocyst stages of embryogenesis, a high number of embryos containing abnormal cells can pass this strong selection barrier. However, neither the prevalence nor extent of CIN during prenatal development and at birth, following IVF treatment, is well understood. Here we profiled the genomic landscape of fetal and placental tissues postpartum from both IVF and naturally conceived children, to investigate the prevalence and persistence of large genetic aberrations that probably arose from IVF-related CIN. We demonstrate that CIN is not preserved at later stages of prenatal development, and that de novo numerical aberrations or large structural DNA imbalances occur at similar rates in IVF and naturally conceived live-born neonates. Our findings affirm that human IVF treatment has no detrimental effect on the chromosomal constitution of fetal and placental lineages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-019-0620-2DOI Listing
November 2019

A New Case of a Rare Combination of Temple Syndrome and Mosaic Trisomy 14 and a Literature Review.

Mol Syndromol 2018 Jul 18;9(4):182-189. Epub 2018 May 18.

Department of Clinical Genetics, United Laboratories, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.

Temple syndrome (TS14) is a relatively recently discovered imprinting disorder caused by abnormal expression of genes at the locus 14q32. The underlying cause of this syndrome is maternal uniparental disomy of chromosome 14 (UPD(14)mat). Trisomy of chromosome 14 is one of the autosomal trisomies; in humans, it is only compatible with live birth in mosaic form. Although UPD(14)mat and mosaic trisomy 14 can arise from the same cellular mechanism, a combination of both has been currently reported only in 8 live-born cases. Hereby, we describe a patient in whom only UPD(14)mat-associated TS14 was primarily diagnosed. Due to the patient's atypical features (for TS14), additional analyses were performed and low-percent mosaic trisomy 14 was detected. It can be expected that the described combination of 2 etiologically related conditions is actually more prevalent. Additional chromosomal and molecular investigations are indicated for every patient with UPD(14)mat-associated TS14 with atypical clinical presentation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000489446DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6117659PMC
July 2018

NIPTmer: rapid k-mer-based software package for detection of fetal aneuploidies.

Sci Rep 2018 04 4;8(1):5616. Epub 2018 Apr 4.

Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.

Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is a recent and rapidly evolving method for detecting genetic lesions, such as aneuploidies, of a fetus. However, there is a need for faster and cheaper laboratory and analysis methods to make NIPT more widely accessible. We have developed a novel software package for detection of fetal aneuploidies from next-generation low-coverage whole genome sequencing data. Our tool - NIPTmer - is based on counting pre-defined per-chromosome sets of unique k-mers from raw sequencing data, and applying linear regression model on the counts. Additionally, the filtering process used for k-mer list creation allows one to take into account the genetic variance in a specific sample, thus reducing the source of uncertainty. The processing time of one sample is less than 10 CPU-minutes on a high-end workstation. NIPTmer was validated on a cohort of 583 NIPT samples and it correctly predicted 37 non-mosaic fetal aneuploidies. NIPTmer has the potential to reduce significantly the time and complexity of NIPT post-sequencing analysis compared to mapping-based methods. For non-commercial users the software package is freely available at http://bioinfo.ut.ee/NIPTMer/ .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-23589-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5884839PMC
April 2018

An 8.4-Mb 3q26.33-3q28 microdeletion in a patient with blepharophimosis-intellectual disability syndrome and a review of the literature.

Clin Case Rep 2016 08 22;4(8):824-30. Epub 2016 Jul 22.

Department of Genetics United Laboratories Tartu University Hospital Tartu Estonia.

3q26.33-3q27.2 microdeletion can be classified as a clinical entity characterized by intrauterine growth retardation, feeding problems in infancy, short stature, intellectual disability, hypotonia, dysmorphic facial features (medially sparse eyebrows, narrow horizontal palpebral fissures, epicanthal folds, flat nasal bridge and tip, short philtrum, and downturned corners of mouth), and teeth and feet abnormalities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ccr3.632DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4974439PMC
August 2016

The Diagnostic Utility of Single Long Contiguous Stretches of Homozygosity in Patients without Parental Consanguinity.

Mol Syndromol 2015 Sep 15;6(3):135-40. Epub 2015 Aug 15.

Department of Genetics, United Laboratories, Tartu University Hospital, Tartu, Estonia; Department of Pediatrics, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.

We present data from our clinical department's experience with chromosomal microarray analysis (CMA) regarding the diagnostic utility of 1 or 2 long contiguous stretches of homozygosity (LCSHs) in an outbred population. The study group consisted of 2,110 consecutive patients from 2011 to 2014 for whom CMA was performed. The minimum cut-off size for defining a homozygous stretch was 5 Mb. To focus on cases with no parental consanguinity, we further studied only patients in whom the total length of homozygous stretches did not exceed 28 Mb or 1% of the autosomal genome length. We identified 6 chromosomal regions where homozygous stretches appeared in at least 3 patients and excluded these from further analysis. In 2 out of 120 patients with an isolated finding of 1 or 2 non-recurrent LCSHs, a plausible candidate gene associated with their phenotype was identified within the homozygous stretch. In both of these cases, a pathogenic mutation was detected, leading to diagnoses of pyruvate kinase deficiency and Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome. To clarify whether previously found homozygous stretches could be important for the interpretation of genome-wide sequencing data, we report 7 cases in which homozygous stretches not encompassing a clinically associated gene were first found on CMA, followed by the diagnostic whole-exome sequencing. The diagnostic utility of single LCSHs, unlikely to be caused by uniparental disomy, is discussed in detail.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000438776DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4698626PMC
September 2015

Familial 1.3-Mb 11p15.5p15.4 Duplication in Three Generations Causing Silver-Russell and Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndromes.

Mol Syndromol 2015 Sep 24;6(3):147-51. Epub 2015 Jul 24.

Department of Genetics, Tartu University Hospital, Tartu, Estonia; Department of Pediatrics, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.

Silver-Russell syndrome (SRS) and Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) are 2 opposite growth-affecting disorders. The common molecular cause for both syndromes is an abnormal regulation of genes in chromosomal region 11p15, where 2 imprinting control regions (ICR) control fetal and postnatal growth. Also, many submicroscopic chromosomal disturbances like duplications in 11p15 have been described among SRS and BWS patients. Duplications involving both ICRs cause SRS or BWS, depending on which parent the aberration is inherited from. We describe to our knowledge the smallest familial pure 1.3-Mb duplication in chromosomal region 11p15.5p15.4 that involves both ICRs and is present in 3 generations causing an SRS or BWS phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000437061DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4698645PMC
September 2015

Two familial microduplications of 15q26.3 causing overgrowth and variable intellectual disability with normal copy number of IGF1R.

Eur J Med Genet 2016 Apr 12;59(4):257-62. Epub 2015 Dec 12.

Genetics of Learning Disability Service, Hunter Genetics, Waratah, Australia. Electronic address:

Terminal duplications of 15q26.3 are associated with an overgrowth phenotype, distinct facial features and intellectual disability, with the smallest reported microduplication to date being 3.16 Mb in size. We report two familial 15q26.3 microduplication cases that are less than half this size, re-defining the minimal critical region for this duplication syndrome. In both families the duplication (albeit a complex copy number gain in one family) is associated with tall stature, early speech delay and variable cognitive problems. Neither familial copy number gains encompass the gene encoding for the insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R), the most-cited candidate for the overgrowth phenotype. In one family, whole genome sequence data and break point mapping excludes disruption of known IGF1R regulatory elements due to potential insertion within these elements. These cases highlight the possibility that the distal region of 15q contains another gene regulating human growth, with LRRK1 being a potential candidate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmg.2015.12.002DOI Listing
April 2016

Somatic mosaicism for copy-neutral loss of heterozygosity and DNA copy number variations in the human genome.

BMC Genomics 2015 Sep 16;16:703. Epub 2015 Sep 16.

Competence Centre on Health Technologies, Tiigi 61b, 50410, Tartu, Estonia.

Background: Somatic mosaicism denotes the presence of genetically distinct populations of somatic cells in one individual who has developed from a single fertilised oocyte. Mosaicism may result from a mutation that occurs during postzygotic development and is propagated to only a subset of the adult cells. Our aim was to investigate both somatic mosaicism for copy-neutral loss of heterozygosity (cn-LOH) events and DNA copy number variations (CNVs) in fully differentiated tissues.

Results: We studied panels of tissue samples (11-12 tissues per individual) from four autopsy subjects using high-resolution Illumina HumanOmniExpress-12 BeadChips to reveal the presence of possible intra-individual tissue-specific cn-LOH and CNV patterns. We detected five mosaic cn-LOH regions >5 Mb in some tissue samples in three out of four individuals. We also detected three CNVs that affected only a portion of the tissues studied in one out of four individuals. These three somatic CNVs range from 123 to 796 kb and are also found in the general population. An attempt was made to explain the succession of genomic events that led to the observed somatic genetic mosaicism under the assumption that the specific mosaic patterns of CNV and cn-LOH changes reflect their formation during the postzygotic embryonic development of germinal layers and organ systems.

Conclusions: Our results give further support to the idea that somatic mosaicism for CNVs, and also cn-LOHs, is a common phenomenon in phenotypically normal humans. Thus, the examination of only a single tissue might not provide enough information to diagnose potentially deleterious CNVs within an individual. During routine CNV and cn-LOH analysis, DNA derived from a buccal swab can be used in addition to blood DNA to get information about the CNV/cn-LOH content in tissues of both mesodermal and ectodermal origin. Currently, the real frequency and possible phenotypic consequences of both CNVs and cn-LOHs that display somatic mosaicism remain largely unknown. To answer these questions, future studies should involve larger cohorts of individuals and a range of tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12864-015-1916-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4573927PMC
September 2015

De novo deletion of HOXB gene cluster in a patient with failure to thrive, developmental delay, gastroesophageal reflux and bronchiectasis.

Eur J Med Genet 2015 Jun-Jul;58(6-7):336-40. Epub 2015 Apr 20.

Department of Genetics, United Laboratories, Tartu University Hospital, Tartu, Estonia; Department of Paediatrics, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.

We report a female patient with a complex phenotype consisting of failure to thrive, developmental delay, congenital bronchiectasis, gastroesophageal reflux and bilateral inguinal hernias. Chromosomal microarray analysis revealed a 230 kilobase deletion in chromosomal region 17q21.32 (arr[hg19] 17q21.32(46 550 362-46 784 039)×1) encompassing only 9 genes - HOXB1 to HOXB9. The deletion was not found in her mother or father. This is the first report of a patient with a HOXB gene cluster deletion involving only HOXB1 to HOXB9 genes. By comparing our case to previously reported five patients with larger chromosomal aberrations involving the HOXB gene cluster, we can suppose that HOXB gene cluster deletions are responsible for growth retardation, developmental delay, and specific facial dysmorphic features. Also, we suppose that bilateral inguinal hernias, tracheo-esophageal abnormalities, and lung malformations represent features with incomplete penetrance. Interestingly, previously published knock-out mice with targeted heterozygous deletion comparable to our patient did not show phenotypic alterations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmg.2015.04.002DOI Listing
March 2016

Mosaicism for maternal uniparental disomy 15 in a boy with some clinical features of Prader-Willi syndrome.

Eur J Med Genet 2014 May-Jun;57(6):279-83. Epub 2014 Apr 2.

Department of Genetics, United Laboratories, Tartu University Hospital, Tartu, Estonia; Department of Pediatrics, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia. Electronic address:

Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is caused by the lack of paternal expression of imprinted genes in the human chromosomal region 15q11.2-q13.2, which can be due to an interstitial deletion at 15q11.2-q13 of paternal origin (65-75%), maternal uniparental disomy (matUPD) of chromosome 15 (20-30%), or an imprinting defect (1-3%). The majority of PWS-associated matUPD15 cases represent a complete heterodisomy of chromosome 15 or a mixture of hetero- and isodisomic regions across the chromosome 15. Pure maternal isodisomy is observed in only a few matUPD15 patients. Here we report a case of an 18-year-old boy with some clinical features of Prader-Willi syndrome, such as overweight, muscular hypotonia, facial dysmorphism and psychiatric problems, but there was no reason to suspect PWS in the patient based solely on the phenotype estimation. However, chromosomal microarray analysis (CMA) revealed mosaic loss of heterozygosity of the entire chromosome 15. Methylation-specific multiplex ligation-dependant probe amplification (MS-MLPA) analysis showed hypermethylation of the SNRPN and NDN genes in the PWS/AS critical region of chromosome 15 in this patient. Taking into consideration the MS-MLPA results and the presence of PWS features in the patient, we concluded that it was matUPD15, although the patient's parents were not enrolled in the study. According to CMA and karyotyping, no trisomic or monosomic cells were present. To the best of our knowledge, only two PWS cases with mosaic maternal isodisomy 15 and without trisomic/monosomic cell lines have been reported so far.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmg.2014.03.007DOI Listing
February 2015

Chromosomal microarray analysis as a first-tier clinical diagnostic test: Estonian experience.

Mol Genet Genomic Med 2014 Mar 9;2(2):166-75. Epub 2014 Jan 9.

Department of Genetics, United Laboratories, Tartu University Hospital Tartu, Estonia ; Department of Pediatrics, University of Tartu Tartu, Estonia.

Chromosomal microarray analysis (CMA) is now established as the first-tier cytogenetic diagnostic test for fast and accurate detection of chromosomal abnormalities in patients with developmental delay/intellectual disability (DD/ID), multiple congenital anomalies (MCA), and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We present our experience with using CMA for postnatal and prenatal diagnosis in Estonian patients during 2009-2012. Since 2011, CMA is on the official service list of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund and is performed as the first-tier cytogenetic test for patients with DD/ID, MCA or ASD. A total of 1191 patients were analyzed, including postnatal (1072 [90%] patients and 59 [5%] family members) and prenatal referrals (60 [5%] fetuses). Abnormal results were reported in 298 (25%) patients, with a total of 351 findings (1-3 per individual): 147 (42%) deletions, 106 (30%) duplications, 89 (25%) long contiguous stretches of homozygosity (LCSH) events (>5 Mb), and nine (3%) aneuploidies. Of all findings, 143 (41%) were defined as pathogenic or likely pathogenic; for another 143 findings (41%), most of which were LCSH, the clinical significance remained unknown, while 61 (18%) reported findings can now be reclassified as benign or likely benign. Clinically relevant findings were detected in 126 (11%) patients. However, the proportion of variants of unknown clinical significance was quite high (41% of all findings). It seems that our ability to detect chromosomal abnormalities has far outpaced our ability to understand their role in disease. Thus, the interpretation of CMA findings remains a rather difficult task requiring a close collaboration between clinicians and cytogeneticists.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mgg3.57DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3960059PMC
March 2014

Monosomy 1p36 - a multifaceted and still enigmatic syndrome: four clinically diverse cases with shared white matter abnormalities.

Eur J Paediatr Neurol 2014 May 25;18(3):338-46. Epub 2014 Jan 25.

Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia; Department of Genetics, United Laboratories, Tartu University Hospital, Tartu, Estonia.

Monosomy 1p36 is the most common subtelomeric deletion syndrome seen in humans. Uniform features of the syndrome include early developmental delay and consequent intellectual disability, muscular hypotonia, and characteristic dysmorphic facial features. The gene-rich nature of the chromosomal band, inconsistent deletion sizes and overlapping clinical features have complicated relevant genotype-phenotype correlations. We describe four patients with isolated chromosome 1p36 deletions. All patients shared white matter abnormalities, allowing us to narrow the critical region for white matter involvement to the deletion size of up to 2.5 Mb from the telomere. We hypothesise that there might be a gene(s) responsible for myelin development in the 1p36 subtelomeric region. Other significant clinical findings were progressive spastic paraparesis, epileptic encephalopathy, various skeletal anomalies, Prader-Willi-like phenotype, neoplastic changes - a haemangioma and a benign skin tumour, and in one case, sleep myoclonus, a clinical entity not previously described in association with 1p36 monosomy. Combined with prior studies, our results suggest that the clinical features seen in monosomy 1p36 have more complex causes than a classical contiguous gene deletion syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpn.2014.01.008DOI Listing
May 2014

Patient with dup(5)(q35.2-q35.3) reciprocal to the common Sotos syndrome deletion and review of the literature.

Eur J Med Genet 2013 Apr 28;56(4):202-6. Epub 2013 Jan 28.

Department of Biotechnology, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Tartu, 23 Riia Street, 51010 Tartu, Estonia.

The recent implementation of array techniques in research and clinical practice has revealed the existence of recurrent reciprocal deletions and duplications in several genome loci. The most intriguing feature is that some reciprocal genomic events can result in opposite phenotypic outcome. One of such examples is 5q35.2-q35.3. Deletions in this locus lead to Sotos syndrome characterized by childhood overgrowth with advanced bone age, craniofacial dysmorphic features including macrocephaly, and learning difficulties; while duplications have been proposed to manifest in opposite phenotype related to growth. Here, we report a patient with 5q35.2-q35.3 duplication and compare her clinical phenotype with five previously described cases. Short stature since the birth, microcephaly, brachydactyly, delayed bone age, mild to moderate intellectual disability and mild facial dysmorphism seem to be characteristic features of 5q35.2-q35.3 duplication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmg.2013.01.008DOI Listing
April 2013

Balanced reciprocal translocation t(5;13)(q33;q12) and 9q31.1 microduplication in a man suffering from infertility and pollinosis.

J Appl Genet 2012 Feb 29;53(1):93-7. Epub 2011 Nov 29.

Department of Human Biology and Genetics, Institute of General and Molecular Pathology, University of Tartu, Ravila 19, Tartu, Estonia.

We describe the first case of two chromosomal abnormalities, balanced reciprocal translocation t(5;13)(q33;q12.1) and a microduplication in the region 9q31.1, in a man suffering from infertility and pollinosis. In the region 13q12.1 is located the TUBA3C (tubulin, alpha 3c) gene, which plays an important dynamic role in the motility of flagella. This case might support the opinion that haploinsufficiency of the TUBA3C gene could be the cause of sperm immotility and abnormal sperm morphology, resulting in infertility in the patient. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array analysis revealed a novel 9q31.1 microduplication inherited from both parents, which contributes to the genomic instability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13353-011-0078-5DOI Listing
February 2012

9 Mb familial duplication in chromosome band Xp22.2-22.13 associated with mental retardation, hypotonia and developmental delay, scoliosis, cardiovascular problems and mild dysmorphic facial features.

Eur J Med Genet 2011 Sep-Oct;54(5):e510-5. Epub 2011 Jun 17.

Department of Cytogenetics, The Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, Nicosia.

We report on a family with syndromic X-linked mental retardation (XLMR) caused by an Xp22.2-22.13 duplication. This family consists of a carrier mother and daughter and four affected sons, presenting with mental retardation, developmental delay, cardiovascular problems and mild dysmorphic facial features. Female carriers have normal intelligence and some common clinical features, as well as different clinical abnormalities. Cytogenetic analysis of the mother showed an Xp22.2 duplication which was passed to all her offspring. Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) using whole chromosome paint and Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) clones covering Xp22.12-Xp22.3 region, confirmed the X chromosome origin and the size of the duplication. Two different targeted microarray methodologies were used for breakpoint confirmation, resulting in the localization of the duplication to approximately 9.75-18.98 Mb. Detailed description of such rare duplications provides valuable data for the investigation of genetic disease etiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmg.2011.05.006DOI Listing
December 2011

A parallel SNP array study of genomic aberrations associated with mental retardation in patients and general population in Estonia.

Eur J Med Genet 2011 Mar-Apr;54(2):136-43. Epub 2010 Nov 26.

Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.

The increasing use of whole-genome array screening has revealed the important role of DNA copy-number variations in the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders and several recurrent genomic disorders have been defined during recent years. However, some variants considered to be pathogenic have also been observed in phenotypically normal individuals. This underlines the importance of further characterization of genomic variants with potentially variable expressivity in both patient and general population cohorts to clarify their phenotypic consequence. In this study whole-genome SNP arrays were used to investigate genomic rearrangements in 77 Estonian families with idiopathic mental retardation. In addition to this family-based approach, phenotype and genotype data from a cohort of 1000 individuals in the general population were used for accurate interpretation of aberrations found in mental retardation patients. Relevant structural aberrations were detected in 18 of the families analyzed (23%). Fifteen of those were in genomic regions where clinical significance has previously been established. In 3 families, 4 novel aberrations associated with intellectual disability were detected in chromosome regions 2p25.1-p24.3, 3p12.1-p11.2, 7p21.2-p21.1 and Xq28. Carriers of imbalances in 15q13.3, 16p11.2 and Xp22.31 were identified among reference individuals, affirming the variable phenotypic consequence of rare variants in some genomic regions considered as pathogenic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmg.2010.11.005DOI Listing
August 2011

5.9 Mb microdeletion in chromosome band 17q22-q23.2 associated with tracheo-esophageal fistula and conductive hearing loss.

Eur J Med Genet 2009 Jan-Feb;52(1):71-4. Epub 2008 Oct 17.

Only eight cases involving deletions of chromosome 17 in the region q22-q24 have been reported previously. We describe an additional case, a 7-year-old boy with profound mental retardation, severe microcephaly, facial dysmorphism, symphalangism, contractures of large joints, hyperopia, strabismus, bilateral conductive hearing loss, genital abnormality, psoriasis vulgaris and tracheo-esophageal fistula. Analysis with whole-genome SNP genotyping assay detected a 5.9 Mb deletion in chromosome band 17q22-q23.2 with breakpoints between 48,200,000-48,300,000 bp and 54,200,000-54,300,000 bp (according to NCBI 36). The aberration was confirmed by real-time quantitative PCR analysis. Haploinsufficiency of NOG gene has been implicated in the development of conductive hearing loss, skeletal anomalies including symphalangism, contractures of joints, and hyperopia in our patient and may also contribute to the development of tracheo-esophageal fistula and/or esophageal atresia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmg.2008.09.006DOI Listing
April 2009

Array-MAPH: a methodology for the detection of locus copy-number changes in complex genomes.

Nat Protoc 2008 ;3(5):849-65

Department of Cytogenetics, The Cyprus Institute of Neurology & Genetics, Nicosia, Cyprus.

High-throughput genome-wide screening methods to detect subtle genomic imbalances are extremely important for diagnostic genetics and genomics. Here, we provide a detailed protocol for a microarray-based technique, applying the principle of multiplex amplifiable probe hybridization (MAPH). Methodology and software have been developed for designing unique PCR-amplifiable sequences (400-600 bp) covering any genomic region of interest. These sequences are amplified, cloned and spotted onto arrays (targets). A mixture of the same sequences (probes) is hybridized to genomic DNA immobilized on a membrane. Bound probes are recovered and quantitatively amplified by PCR, labeled and hybridized to the array. The procedure can be completed in 4-5 working days, excluding microarray preparation. Unlike array-comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH), test DNA of specifically reduced complexity is hybridized to an array of identical small amplifiable target sequences, resulting in increased hybridization specificity and higher potential for increasing resolution. Array-MAPH can be used for detection of small-scale copy-number changes in complex genomes, leading to genotype-phenotype correlations and the discovery of new genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nprot.2008.49DOI Listing
August 2008

Screening of 20 patients with X-linked mental retardation using chromosome X-specific array-MAPH.

Eur J Med Genet 2007 Nov-Dec;50(6):399-410. Epub 2007 Sep 29.

Department of Cytogenetics, The Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, 1683 Nicosia, Cyprus.

The rapid advancement of high-resolution DNA copy number assessment methods revealed the significant contribution of submicroscopic genetic imbalances to abnormal phenotypes, including mental retardation. In order to detect submicroscopic genetic imbalances, we have screened 20 families with X-linked mental retardation (XLMR) using a chromosome X-specific array-MAPH platform with median resolution of 238kb. Among the 20 families, 18 were experimental, as they were not previously screened with any microarray method, and two were blind controls with known aberrations, as they were previously screened by array-CGH. This study presents the first clinical application of chromosome X-specific array-MAPH methodology. The screening of 20 affected males from 20 unrelated XLMR families resulted in the detection of an unknown deletion, spanning a region of 7-23kb. Family studies and population screening demonstrated that the detected deletion is an unknown rare copy number variant. One of the control samples, carrying approximately 6-Mb duplication was correctly identified, moreover it was found to be interrupted by a previously unknown 19kb region of normal copy number. The second control 50kb deletion was not identified, as this particular region was not covered by array-MAPH probes. This study demonstrates that the chromosome X-specific array-MAPH platform is a valuable tool for screening patients with XLMR, or other X-linked disorders, and emerges the need for introducing new high-resolution screening methods for the detection of genetic imbalances.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmg.2007.09.001DOI Listing
March 2008

Detection of small genomic imbalances using microarray-based multiplex amplifiable probe hybridization.

Eur J Hum Genet 2007 Feb 22;15(2):162-72. Epub 2006 Nov 22.

Department of Cytogenetics, The Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, Nicosia, Cyprus.

Array-based genome-wide screening methods were recently introduced to clinical practice in order to detect small genomic imbalances that may cause severe genetic disorders. The continuous advancement of such methods plays an extremely important role in diagnostic genetics and medical genomics. We have modified and adapted the original multiplex amplifiable probe hybridization (MAPH) to a novel microarray format providing an important new diagnostic tool for detection of small size copy-number changes in any locus of human genome. Here, we describe the new array-MAPH diagnostic method and show proof of concept through fabrication, interrogation and validation of a human chromosome X-specific array. We have developed new bioinformatic tools and methodology for designing and producing amplifiable hybridization probes (200-600 bp) for array-MAPH. We designed 558 chromosome X-specific probes with median spacing 238 kb and 107 autosomal probes, which were spotted onto microarrays. DNA samples from normal individuals and patients with known and unknown chromosome X aberrations were analyzed for validation. Array-MAPH detected exactly the same deletions and duplications in blind studies, as well as other unknown small size deletions showing its accuracy and sensitivity. All results were confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization and probe-specific PCR. Array-MAPH is a new microarray-based diagnostic tool for the detection of small-scale copy-number changes in complex genomes, which may be useful for genotype-phenotype correlations, identification of new genes, studying genetic variation and provision of genetic services.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejhg.5201738DOI Listing
February 2007