Detection and incidence of cryptic Y chromosome sequences in Turner syndrome patients

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The presence of Y chromosome sequences in Turner syndrome (TS) patients may predispose them to gonadoblastoma formation with an estimated risk of 15-25%. The aim of this study was to determine the presence and the incidence of cryptic Y chromosome material in the genome of TS patients. The methodology involved a combination of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and nested PCR followed by Southern blot analysis of three genes - the sex determining region Y (SRY), testis specific protein Y encoded (TSPY) and RNA binding motif protein (RBM) (previously designated as YRRM) and nine additional STSs spanning all seven intervals of the Y chromosome. The methodology has a high sensitivity as it detects one 46,XY cell among 105 46,XX cells. Reliability was ensured by taking several precautions to avoid false positive results. We report the results of screening 50 TS patients and the identification of cryptic Y chromosome material in 12 (24%) of them. Karyotypes were divided in four groups: 5(23.8%) patients out of the 21 TS patients which have the 45,X karyotype(group A) also have cryptic Y sequences; none (0%) of the 7 patients who have karyotypes with anomalies on one of the X chromosomes have Y mosaicism(group B); 1 (6.3%) of the 16 patients with a mosaic karyotype have Y material (group C); and 6 (100%) out of 6 patients with a supernumerary marker chromosome (SMC) have Y chromosome sequences (group D). Nine of the 12 patients positive for cryptic Y material were recalled for a repeat study. Following new DNA extraction, molecular analysis was repeated and, in conjunction with fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis using the Y centromeric specific probe Yc-2, confirmed the initial positive DNA findings. This study used a reliable and sensitive methodology to identify the presence of Y chromosome material in TS patients thus providing not only a better estimate of a patient's risk in developing either gonadoblastoma or another form of gonadal tumor but also the overall incidence of cryptic Y mosaicism.

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