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This article has been peer reviewed and is published in BMC Molecular Cytogenetics Volume 2, Issue 1, 2009, Article number 27. The published version is available at DOI: 10.1186/1755-8166-2-27. Copyright © BioMed Central Ltd.


Autism spectrum disorders have been associated with maternally derived duplications that involve the imprinted region on the proximal long arm of chromosome 15. Here we describe a boy with a chromosome 15 duplication arising from a 3:1 segregation error of a paternally derived translocation between chromosome 15q13.2 and chromosome 9q34.12, which led to trisomy of chromosome 15pter-q13.2 and 9q34.12-qter. Using array comparative genome hybridization, we localized the breakpoints on both chromosomes and sequence homology suggests that the translocation arose from non-allelic homologous recombination involving the low copy repeats on chromosome 15. The child manifests many characteristics of the maternally-derived duplication chromosome 15 phenotype including developmental delays with cognitive impairment, autism, hypotonia and facial dysmorphisms with nominal overlap of the most general symptoms found in duplications of chromosome 9q34. This case suggests that biallelically expressed genes on proximal 15q contribute to the idic(15) autism phenotype.

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