Evidence for non-homologous end joining and non-allelic homologous recombination in atypical NF1 microdeletions

Marco Venturin, Cristina Gervasini, Francesca Orzan, Angela Bentivegna, Lucia Corrado, Patrizia Colapietro, Alessandra Friso, Romano Tenconi, Meena Upadhyaya, Lidia Larizza, Paola Riva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


NF1 microdeletion syndrome is caused by haploinsufficiency of the NF1 gene and of gene(s) located in adjacent flanking regions. Most of the NF1 deletions originate by non-allelic homologous recombination between repeated sequences (REP-P and -M) mapped to 17q11.2, while the remaining deletions show unusual breakpoints. We performed high-resolution FISH analysis of 18 NF1 microdeleted patients with the aims of mapping non-recurrent deletion breakpoints and verifying the presence of additional recombination-prone architectural motifs. This approach allowed us to obtain the sequence of the first junction fragment of an atypical deletion. By conventional FISH, we identified 16 patients with REP-mediated common deletions, and two patients carrying atypical deletions of 1.3 Mb and 3 Mb. Following fibre-FISH, we identified breakpoint regions of 100 kb, which led to the generation of several locus-specific probes restricting the atypical deletion endpoint intervals to a few kilobases. Sequence analysis provided evidence of small blocks of REPs, clustered around the 1.3-Mb deletion breakpoints, probably involved in intrachromatid non-allelic homologous recombination (NAHR), while isolation and sequencing of the 3-Mb deletion junction fragment indicated that a non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) mechanism is implicated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-80
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Genetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Genetics


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