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      Epigenetics in Turner syndrome

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          Monosomy of the X chromosome is the most frequent genetic abnormality in human as it is present in approximately 2% of all conceptions, although 99% of these embryos are spontaneously miscarried. In postnatal life, clinical features of Turner syndrome may include typical dysmorphic stigmata, short stature, sexual infantilism, and renal, cardiac, skeletal, endocrine and metabolic abnormalities.

          Main text

          Turner syndrome is due to a partial or total loss of the second sexual chromosome, resulting in the development of highly variable clinical features. This phenotype may not merely be due to genomic imbalance from deleted genes but may also result from additive influences on associated genes within a given gene network, with an altered regulation of gene expression triggered by the absence of the second sex chromosome. Current studies in human and mouse models have demonstrated that this chromosomal abnormality leads to epigenetic changes, including differential DNA methylation in specific groups of downstream target genes in pathways associated with several clinical and metabolic features, mostly on autosomal chromosomes. In this article, we begin exploring the potential involvement of both genetic and epigenetic factors in the origin of X chromosome monosomy. We review the dispute between the meiotic and post-zygotic origins of 45,X monosomy, by mainly analyzing the findings from several studies that compare gene expression of the 45,X monosomy to their euploid and/or 47,XXX trisomic cell counterparts on peripheral blood mononuclear cells, amniotic fluid, human fibroblast cells, and induced pluripotent human cell lines. From these studies, a profile of epigenetic changes seems to emerge in response to chromosomal imbalance. An interesting finding of all these studies is that methylation-based and expression-based pathway analyses are complementary, rather than overlapping, and are correlated with the clinical picture displayed by TS subjects.


          The clarification of these possible causal pathways may have future implications in increasing the life expectancy of these patients and may provide informative targets for early pharmaceutical intervention.

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          Most cited references 123

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          Targeted mutation of the DNA methyltransferase gene results in embryonic lethality

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            Mutations of mitotic checkpoint genes in human cancers.

            Genetic instability was one of the first characteristics to be postulated to underlie neoplasia. Such genetic instability occurs in two different forms. In a small fraction of colorectal and some other cancers, defective repair of mismatched bases results in an increased mutation rate at the nucleotide level and consequent widespread microsatellite instability. In most colorectal cancers, and probably in many other cancer types, a chromosomal instability (CIN) leading to an abnormal chromosome number (aneuploidy) is observed. The physiological and molecular bases of this pervasive abnormality are unknown. Here we show that CIN is consistently associated with the loss of function of a mitotic checkpoint. Moreover, in some cancers displaying CIN the loss of this checkpoint was associated with the mutational inactivation of a human homologue of the yeast BUB1 gene; BUB1 controls mitotic checkpoints and chromosome segregation in yeast. The normal mitotic checkpoints of cells displaying microsatellite instability become defective upon transfer of mutant hBUB1 alleles from either of two CIN cancers.
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              Chromosome instability is common in human cleavage-stage embryos.

              Chromosome instability is a hallmark of tumorigenesis. This study establishes that chromosome instability is also common during early human embryogenesis. A new array-based method allowed screening of genome-wide copy number and loss of heterozygosity in single cells. This revealed not only mosaicism for whole-chromosome aneuploidies and uniparental disomies in most cleavage-stage embryos but also frequent segmental deletions, duplications and amplifications that were reciprocal in sister blastomeres, implying the occurrence of breakage-fusion-bridge cycles. This explains the low human fecundity and identifies post-zygotic chromosome instability as a leading cause of constitutional chromosomal disorders.

                Author and article information

                +593-252-8810 , fjalvarez@uce.edu.ec
                Clin Epigenetics
                Clin Epigenetics
                Clinical Epigenetics
                BioMed Central (London )
                6 April 2018
                6 April 2018
                : 10
                [1 ]GRID grid.7898.e, Biological Sciences School, Faculty of Biological Sciences, , Central University of Ecuador, ; Quito, Ecuador
                [2 ]GRID grid.411226.2, Pediatric Endocrine Unit, , Hospital de Clínicas Caracas, ; Caracas, Venezuela
                © The Author(s). 2018

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Funded by: Academie de Recherche et D'Enseignement Superieur of Belgique
                Award ID: 2016-157E
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                © The Author(s) 2018


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