Roberts syndrome is an inherited human condition that is of particular interest because separation of centromeres and constitutive heterochromatin is observed in metaphase chromosomes. In this study we investigated the frequency of other cytological abnormalities in three Roberts syndrome patients. Our findings when taken with previous cytological reports emphasize that there are other features that are equally characteristic of Roberts syndrome: (1) aneuploidy with random chromosome loss and (2) micronuclei and/or nuclear lobulations of 8%-24% of interphase cells. We observed abnormal chromosome movement involving one or all the chromosomes during anaphase. Evidence is presented suggesting that aneuploidy, micronuclei and abnormal nuclear morphology are a direct result of lagging chromosomes. The cytological features documented for Roberts syndrome indicate that this is a human mitotic mutant.
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