A complete duplication of X chromosome resulting in a tricentric isochromosome originated by centromere repositioning

N. Villa, D. Conconi, D. Gambel Benussi, G. Tornese, F. Crosti, E. Sala, L. Dalprà, L. Dalprà, V. Pecile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


© 2017 The Author(s). Background: Neocentromeres are rare and considered chromosomal aberrations, because a non-centromeric region evolves in an active centromere by mutation. The literature reported several structural anomalies of X chromosome and they influence the female reproductive capacity or are associated to Turner syndrome in the presence of monosomy X cell line. Case presentation: We report a case of chromosome X complex rearrangement found in a prenatal diagnosis. The fetal karyotype showed a mosaicism with a 45,X cell line and a 46 chromosomes second line with a big marker, instead of a sex chromosome. The marker morphology and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) characterization allowed us to identify a tricentric X chromosome constituted by two complete X chromosome fused at the p arms telomere and an active neocentromere in the middle, at the union of the two Xp arms, where usually are the telomeric regions. FISH also showed the presence of a paracentric inversion of both Xp arms. Furthermore, fragility figures were found in 56% of metaphases from peripheral blood lymphocytes culture at birth: a shorter marker chromosome and an apparently acentric fragment frequently lost. Conclusions: At our knowledge, this is the first isochromosome of an entire non-acrocentric chromosome. The neocentromere is constituted by canonical sequences but localized in an unusual position and the original centromeres are inactivated. We speculated that marker chromosome was the result of a double rearrangement: firstly, a paracentric inversion which involved the Xp arm, shifting a part of the centromere at the p end and subsequently a duplication of the entire X chromosome, which gave rise to an isochromosome. It is possible to suppose that the first event could be a result of a non-allelic homologous recombination mediated by inverted low-copy repeats. As expected, our case shows a Turner phenotype with mild facial features and no major skeletal deformity, normal psychomotor development and a spontaneous development of puberty and menarche, although with irregular menses since the last follow-up.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular Cytogenetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 13 2017


  • Chromosome complex rearrangement
  • Telomeric-centromeric X rearrangement


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