Deciphering the complexity of the 4q and 10q subtelomeres by molecular combing in healthy individuals and patients with facio-scapulo-humeral dystrophy

Molecular diagnostics of FSHD remains complex for approximately 20% of patients, posing difficulties in genetic counseling. To overcome these current limitations, we have developed a molecular combing-based method allowing a precise bar coding of the 4q35 locus linked to the disease and 10qter region, which is highly homologous. By exploring a thousand cases with this approach, we have increased FSHD diagnostic rate and identified atypical genomic features in more than 7% of patients.

Our work highlights the heterogeneous molecular signature of FSHD and the difficulty of interpretation of the molecular data in a significant proportion of cases, especially for genetic counseling, predictive testing or prenatal diagnosis. (By Dr. Frederique Magdinier, )

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