We describe a 17-month-old infant with clinical features of Down syndrome and a normal karyotype by standard chromosomal analysis, her two uncles aged 28 and 30 years, respectively, with reduced intelligence and unusual appearance but not apparent Down syndrome, and a severely retarded 6-year-old girl with dysmorphy and epilepsy from the same family. Cytogenetic studies of patients and normal intervening relatives had been carried out at different institutions with normal results. Fluorescence in situ hybridization using whole chromosome painting and unique-copy probes (cosmids) and high-resolution banding revealed a familial subtelomeric translocation of chromesomes 18 and 21, resulting in partial trisomy 21 in the infant and her two uncles, and partial monosomy 21 in the 6-year-old girl. Cytogenetic breakpoints were located in bands 18q23 and 21q22.1, respectively. The molecular breakpoint on chromosome 21 was located between D21S211 (proximal) and D21S1283 (distal) and thus maps within the Down syndrome critical region.
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