Chromosome engineering: generation of mono- and dicentric isochromosomes in a somatic cell hybrid system.


Journal Article

The most common isochromosome found in humans involves the long arm of the X, i(Xq), and is associated with a subset of Turner syndrome cases. To study the formation and behavior of isochromosomes in a more tractable experimental system, we have developed a somatic cell hybrid model system that allows for the selection of mono- or dicentric isochromosomes involving the short arm of the X, i(Xp). Simultaneous positive and negative counterselection of a mouse/human somatic cell hybrid containing a human X chromosome, selecting for retention of the UBE1 locus in Xp but against the HPRT locus in Xq, results in a variety of abnormalities of the X chromosome involving deletions of Xq. We have generated 70 such "Pushmi-Pullyu" hybrids derived from seven independent X chromosomes. Cytogenetic analysis of these hybrids using fluorescence in situ hybridization showed i(Xp) chromosomes in approximately 19% of the hybrids. Southern blot and polymerase chain reaction analyses of the Pushmi-Pullyu hybrids revealed a distribution of breakpoints along Xq. The distance between the centromeres of the dicentric i(Xp)s generated ranged from approximately 2 Mb to approximately 20 Mb. To examine centromeric activity in these dicentric i(Xp)s, we used indirect immunofluorescence with antibodies to centromere protein E (CENP-E). CENP-E was detected at only one of the centromeres of a dicentric i(Xp) with approximately 2-3 Mb of Xq DNA. In contrast, CENP-E was detected at both centromeres of a dicentric i(Xp) with approximately 14 Mb of Xq DNA. Two other dicentric i(Xp) chromosomes were heterogeneous with respect to centromeric activity, suggesting that centromeric activity and chromosome stability of dicentric chromosomes may be more complicated than previously thought. The Pushmi-Pullyu model system presented in this study may provide a tool for examining the structure and function of mammalian centromeres.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Higgins, AW; Schueler, MG; Willard, HF

Published Date

  • August 1999

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 108 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 256 - 265

PubMed ID

  • 10460414

Pubmed Central ID

  • 10460414

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1432-0886

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0009-5915

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s004120050376


  • eng