We investigated a family with a duplication, dup(X)q26-q27, that was present in two brothers, their mother, and their maternal grandmother. The brothers carrying the duplication displayed spina bifida and panhypopituitarism, whereas a third healthy brother inherited the normal X chromosome. Preferential inactivation of the X chromosome containing the duplication was evident in healthy carrierd females. We determined the boundaries of the Xq26-q27 duplication. Via interphase FISH analysis we natrowed down each of the two breakpoint regions to ~300-kb intervals. The proximal breakpoint is located in Xq26.1 between DXS1114 and HPRT and is conrained in YAC yWXD599, while the distal breakpoint is located in Xq27.3 between DXS369 and DXS1200 and contained in YAC yWXD758. The duplication comprises about 13 Mb. Evidence from the literature points to a predisposing gene for spina bifida in Xq27. We hypothesize that the spina bifida in the two brothers may be due to interruption of a critical gene in the Xq27 breakpoint region. Several candidate genes were mapped to the Xq27 critical region but none was shown to be disrupted by the duplication event. Recently, M. Lagerstrom-Fermer et al. (1997, Am. J. Hum. Genet. 60, 910-916) reported on a family with X-linked recessive panhypopituitarism associated with a duplication in Xq26; however, no details were reported on the extent of the duplication. Our study corroborates their hypothesis that X-linked recessive panhypopituitarism is likely to be caused by a gene encoding a dosage-sensitive protein involved in pituitary development. We place the putative gene between DXS1114 and DXS1200, corresponding to the interval defined by the duplication in the present family. (C) 2000 Academic Press.
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