13q deletion syndrome resulting from balanced chromosomal rearrangement in father: the significance of parental karyotyping

Sabine Dittner-Moormann, Madlen Reschke, Eva Biewald, Alma Kuechler, Barbara Klein, Beate Timmermann, Dietmar Lohmann, Petra Ketteler, Deniz Kanber
Molecular Cytogenetics 2020, 13: 31

Background: Retinoblastoma is a malignancy of the eye in children characterized by biallelic inactivation of the retinoblastoma 1 gene ( RB1 ), located at chromosome 13q14.2. Children with interstitial chromosome 13q deletions that include the RB1 gene show a predisposition to develop retinoblastoma and variable other features. Large 13q deletions with severe clinical phenotype are nearly always the result of a de novo mutation, i.e. the pathogenic alteration is not detected in parents. This results in a low risk for siblings to develop 13q deletion syndrome.

Result: Here, we describe a patient with profound muscle hypotonia, severe developmental delay and bilateral retinoblastoma carrying a large deletion in 13q13.3q14 with the size of 16 Mb, involving the RB1 gene. Neither parent showed retinoblastoma, muscle hypotonia or developmental delay. Chromosome analysis and Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) showed a balanced complex chromosomal rearrangement (CCR) between chromosome 12 and 13 [ins(12;13)(q21.2;q12.3q14.3)] and an additional balanced translocation of chromosome 7 and 15 [t(7;15)(q31.2;q25.3)] in the healthy father. Malsegregation of the paternal insertional translocation involving chromosome 12 and 13 resulted in a 13q deletion syndrome of the child [46,XY,ins(12;13)(q21.2;q12.3q14.3)].

Conclusion: Balanced translocations in parents are a rare cause of de novo RB1 deletions in offspring. This case report emphasizes the need for parental chromosomal analysis and FISH in parents of children diagnosed with 13q deletion syndrome or large RB1 gene deletions to precisely determine the recurrence risk in siblings. Guidelines for genetic testing should be revised accordingly.

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