Identification of limited regions of genetic aberrations in patients affected with Wilms' tumor using a tiling-path chromosome 22 array

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Wilms' tumor (WT) is one of the most common solid tumors of childhood. The genetics of this disorder is complex and few studies have suggested allelic loss of chromosome 22 as a frequent aberration. To assess tumor- and possible germline-specific regions affected with gene copy number variations on this chromosome, we applied a high-resolution genomic clone-based chromosome 22 array to a series of 28 WT samples and the paired blood-derived DNA of the patients. The group of tumors was enriched for cases with metastases, relapse or fatal outcome, criteria that were expected to yield a higher number of alterations on chromosome 22. Overall, the array-based form of comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH) analysis revealed genomic changes in 53% (15 out of 28) of cases. We identified hemizygous deletion of the whole arm of 22q in 3 tumors (11%). Furthermore, a complex amplifier genotype was detected in 8 samples, presenting regions of gain along the chromosome, which defined 7 distinct minimal overlapping segments. The distribution of aberrations in 4 additional cases displaying regional genomic imbalances delimited 2 tumor suppressor/oncogene candidate loci, 1 in the proximal and the other in the terminal part of 22q. Analysis of these regions revealed the presence of several candidate genes that may play a role in the development of WT. These findings demonstrate the power of array-CGH in the determination of DNA copy number alterations and further strength the notion that WT-associated genes exist on this chromosome.

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