Unbalanced translocations arise from diverse mutational mechanisms including chromothripsis.
ABSTRACT: Unbalanced translocations are a relatively common type of copy number variation and a major contributor to neurodevelopmental disorders. We analyzed the breakpoints of 57 unique unbalanced translocations to investigate the mechanisms of how they form. Fifty-one are simple unbalanced translocations between two different chromosome ends, and six rearrangements have more than three breakpoints involving two to five chromosomes. Sequencing 37 breakpoint junctions revealed that simple translocations have between 0 and 4 base pairs (bp) of microhomology (n = 26), short inserted sequences (n = 8), or paralogous repeats (n = 3) at the junctions, indicating that translocations do not arise primarily from nonallelic homologous recombination but instead form most often via nonhomologous end joining or microhomology-mediated break-induced replication. Three simple translocations fuse genes that are predicted to produce in-frame transcripts of SIRPG-WWOX, SMOC2-PROX1, and PIEZO2-MTA1, which may lead to gain of function. Three complex translocations have inversions, insertions, and multiple breakpoint junctions between only two chromosomes. Whole-genome sequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis of two de novo translocations revealed at least 18 and 33 breakpoints involving five different chromosomes. Breakpoint sequencing of one maternally inherited translocation involving four chromosomes uncovered multiple breakpoints with inversions and insertions. All of these breakpoint junctions had 0-4 bp of microhomology consistent with chromothripsis, and both de novo events occurred on paternal alleles. Together with other studies, these data suggest that germline chromothripsis arises in the paternal genome and may be transmitted maternally. Breakpoint sequencing of our large collection of chromosome rearrangements provides a comprehensive analysis of the molecular mechanisms behind translocation formation.
Project description:Unbalanced translocations are a relatively common type of copy number variation and are a major contributor to neurodevelopmental disorders. We analyzed the breakpoints of 57 unique unbalanced translocations to investigate the mechanisms of how they form. 51 are simple unbalanced translocations between two different chromosome ends, and six rearrangements have more than three breakpoints involving two to five chromosomes. Sequencing 37 breakpoint junctions revealed that simple translocations have between zero and four basepairs (bp) of microhomology (n=26), short inserted sequences (n=8), or paralogous repeats (n=3) at the junctions, indicating that translocations do not arise primarily from non-allelic homologous recombination, but instead form most often via non-homologous end joining or microhomology-mediated break-induced replication. Three simple translocations fuse genes that are predicted to produce in-frame transcripts of SIRPG-WWOX, SMOC2-PROX1, and PIEZO2-MTA1, which may lead to gain of function. Three complex translocations have inversions, insertions, and multiple breakpoint junctions between only two chromosomes. Whole- genome sequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis of two de novo translocations revealed at least 18 and 33 breakpoints involving five different chromosomes. Breakpoint sequencing of one inherited translocation involving four chromosomes uncovered multiple breakpoints with inversions and insertions. All of these breakpoint junctions had zero to four bp of microhomology consistent with germline chromothripsis, and both de novo events occurred on paternal alleles. Breakpoint sequencing of our large collection of chromosome rearrangements offers a comprehensive analysis of the molecular mechanisms behind germline translocation formation. High resolution array CGH; two-color experiment, clinical patient vs. normal control gDNA; sex mis-matched
Project description:Complex genomic rearrangements (CGRs) consisting of two or more breakpoint junctions have been observed in genomic disorders. Recently, a chromosome catastrophe phenomenon termed chromothripsis, in which numerous genomic rearrangements are apparently acquired in one single catastrophic event, was described in multiple cancers. Here, we show that constitutionally acquired CGRs share similarities with cancer chromothripsis. In the 17 CGR cases investigated, we observed localization and multiple copy number changes including deletions, duplications, and/or triplications, as well as extensive translocations and inversions. Genomic rearrangements involved varied in size and complexities; in one case, array comparative genomic hybridization revealed 18 copy number changes. Breakpoint sequencing identified characteristic features, including small templated insertions at breakpoints and microhomology at breakpoint junctions, which have been attributed to replicative processes. The resemblance between CGR and chromothripsis suggests similar mechanistic underpinnings. Such chromosome catastrophic events appear to reflect basic DNA metabolism operative throughout an organism's life cycle.
Project description:Large-scale analysis of balanced chromosomal translocation breakpoints has shown nonhomologous end joining and microhomology-mediated repair to be the main drivers of interchromosomal structural aberrations. Breakpoint sequences of de novo unbalanced translocations have not yet been investigated systematically. We analyzed 12 de novo unbalanced translocations and mapped the breakpoints in nine. Surprisingly, in contrast to balanced translocations, we identify nonallelic homologous recombination (NAHR) between (retro)transposable elements and especially long interspersed elements (LINEs) as the main mutational mechanism. This finding shows yet another involvement of (retro)transposons in genomic rearrangements and exposes a profoundly different mutational mechanism compared with balanced chromosomal translocations. Furthermore, we show the existence of compound maternal/paternal derivative chromosomes, reinforcing the hypothesis that human cleavage stage embryogenesis is a cradle of chromosomal rearrangements.
Project description:BACKGROUND:A balanced constitutional reciprocal translocation (RT) is a mutual exchange of terminal segments of two non-homologous chromosomes without any loss or gain of DNA in germline cells. Carriers of balanced RTs are viable individuals with no apparent phenotypical consequences. These animals produce, however, unbalanced gametes and show therefore reduced fertility and offspring with congenital abnormalities. This cytogenetic abnormality is usually detected using chromosome staining techniques. The aim of this study was to test the possibilities of using paired end short read sequencing for detection of balanced RTs in boars and investigate their breakpoints and junctions. RESULTS:Balanced RTs were recovered in a blinded analysis, using structural variant calling software DELLY, in 6 of the 7 carriers with 30 fold short read paired end sequencing. In 15 non-carriers we did not detect any RTs. Reducing the coverage to 20 fold, 15 fold and 10 fold showed that at least 20 fold coverage is required to obtain good results. One RT was not detected using the blind screening, however, a highly likely RT was discovered after unblinding. This RT was located in a repetitive region, showing the limitations of short read sequence data. The detailed analysis of the breakpoints and junctions suggested three junctions showing microhomology, three junctions with blunt-end ligation, and three micro-insertions at the breakpoint junctions. The RTs detected also showed to disrupt genes. CONCLUSIONS:We conclude that paired end short read sequence data can be used to detect and characterize balanced reciprocal translocations, if sequencing depth is at least 20 fold coverage. However, translocations in repetitive areas may require large fragments or even long read sequence data.
Project description:Chromosome rearrangements are large-scale structural variants that are recognized drivers of oncogenic events in cancers of all types. Cytogenetics allows for their rapid, genome-wide detection, but does not provide gene-level resolution. Massively parallel sequencing (MPS) promises DNA sequence-level characterization of the specific breakpoints involved, but is strongly influenced by bioinformatics filters that affect detection efficiency. We sought to characterize the breakpoint junctions of chromosomal translocations and inversions in the clonal derivatives of human cells exposed to ionizing radiation. Here, we describe the first successful use of DNA paired-end analysis to locate and sequence across the breakpoint junctions of a radiation-induced reciprocal translocation. The analyses employed, with varying degrees of success, several well-known bioinformatics algorithms, a task made difficult by the involvement of repetitive DNA sequences. As for underlying mechanisms, the results of Sanger sequencing suggested that the translocation in question was likely formed via microhomology-mediated non-homologous end joining (mmNHEJ). To our knowledge, this represents the first use of MPS to characterize the breakpoint junctions of a radiation-induced chromosomal translocation in human cells. Curiously, these same approaches were unsuccessful when applied to the analysis of inversions previously identified by directional genomic hybridization (dGH). We conclude that molecular cytogenetics continues to provide critical guidance for structural variant discovery, validation and in "tuning" analysis filters to enable robust breakpoint identification at the base pair level.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Chromothripsis, which is the local massive shattering of one or more chromosomes and their reassembly in a disordered array with frequent loss of some fragments, has been mainly reported in association with abnormal phenotypes. We report three unrelated healthy persons, two of which parenting a child with some degree of intellectual disability, carrying a chromothripsis involving respectively one, two, and three chromosomes, which was detected only after whole-genome sequencing. Unexpectedly, in all three cases a fragment from one of the chromothripsed chromosomes resulted to be inserted within a nonchromothripsed one. METHODS:Conventional cytogenetic techniques, paired-end whole-genome sequencing, polymerase chain reaction, and Sanger sequencing were used to characterize complex rearrangements, copy-number variations, and breakpoint sequences in all three families. RESULTS:In two families, one parent was carrier of a balanced chromothripsis causing in the index case a deletion and a noncontiguous duplication at 3q in case 1, and a t(6;14) translocation associated with interstitial 14q deletion in case 2. In the third family, an unbalanced chromothripsis involving chromosomes 6, 7, and 15 was inherited to the proband by the mosaic parent. In all three parents, the chromothripsis was concurrent with an insertional translocation of a portion of one of the chromothriptic chromosomes within a further chromosome that was not involved in the chromothripsis event. CONCLUSION:Our findings show that (a) both simple and complex unbalanced rearrangements may result by the recombination of a cryptic parental balanced chromothripsis and that (b) insertional translocations are the spy of more complex rearrangements and not simply a three-breakpoint event.
Project description:Most balanced translocations are thought to result mechanistically from nonhomologous end joining or, in rare cases of recurrent events, by nonallelic homologous recombination. Here, we use low-coverage mate pair whole-genome sequencing to fine map rearrangement breakpoint junctions in both phenotypically normal and affected translocation carriers. In total, 46 junctions from 22 carriers of balanced translocations were characterized. Genes were disrupted in 48% of the breakpoints; recessive genes in four normal carriers and known dominant intellectual disability genes in three affected carriers. Finally, seven candidate disease genes were disrupted in five carriers with neurocognitive disabilities (SVOPL, SUSD1, TOX, NCALD, SLC4A10) and one XX-male carrier with Tourette syndrome (LYPD6, GPC5). Breakpoint junction analyses revealed microhomology and small templated insertions in a substantive fraction of the analyzed translocations (17.4%; n = 4); an observation that was substantiated by reanalysis of 37 previously published translocation junctions. Microhomology associated with templated insertions is a characteristic seen in the breakpoint junctions of rearrangements mediated by error-prone replication-based repair mechanisms. Our data implicate that a mechanism involving template switching might contribute to the formation of at least 15% of the interchromosomal translocation events.
Project description:Chromothripsis represents an extreme class of complex chromosome rearrangements (CCRs) with major effects on chromosomal architecture. Although recent studies have associated chromothripsis with congenital abnormalities, the incidence and pathogenic effects of this phenomenon require further investigation. Here, we analyzed the genomes of three families in which chromothripsis rearrangements were transmitted from a mother to her child. The chromothripsis in the mothers resulted in completely balanced rearrangements involving 8-23 breakpoint junctions across three to five chromosomes. Two mothers did not show any phenotypic abnormalities, although 3-13 protein-coding genes were affected by breakpoints. Unbalanced but stable transmission of a subset of the derivative chromosomes caused apparently de novo complex copy-number changes in two children. This resulted in gene-dosage changes, which are probably responsible for the severe congenital phenotypes of these two children. In contrast, the third child, who has a severe congenital disease, harbored all three chromothripsis chromosomes from his healthy mother, but one of the chromosomes acquired de novo rearrangements leading to copy-number changes. These results show that the human genome can tolerate extreme reshuffling of chromosomal architecture, including breakage of multiple protein-coding genes, without noticeable phenotypic effects. The presence of chromothripsis in healthy individuals affects reproduction and is expected to substantially increase the risk of miscarriages, abortions, and severe congenital disease.
Project description:We defined the genetic landscape of balanced chromosomal rearrangements at nucleotide resolution by sequencing 141 breakpoints from cytogenetically interpreted translocations and inversions. We confirm that the recently described phenomenon of 'chromothripsis' (massive chromosomal shattering and reorganization) is not unique to cancer cells but also occurs in the germline, where it can resolve to a relatively balanced state with frequent inversions. We detected a high incidence of complex rearrangements (19.2%) and substantially less reliance on microhomology (31%) than previously observed in benign copy-number variants (CNVs). We compared these results to experimentally generated DNA breakage-repair by sequencing seven transgenic animals, revealing extensive rearrangement of the transgene and host genome with similar complexity to human germline alterations. Inversion was the most common rearrangement, suggesting that a combined mechanism involving template switching and non-homologous repair mediates the formation of balanced complex rearrangements that are viable, stably replicated and transmitted unaltered to subsequent generations.
Project description:Clinical laboratory diagnostic evaluation of the genomes of children with suspected genetic disorders, including chromosomal microarray and exome sequencing, cannot detect copy number neutral genomic rearrangements such as inversions, balanced translocations, and complex chromosomal rearrangements (CCRs). We describe an infant with a clinical diagnosis of Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS) in whom chromosome analysis revealed a de novo complex balanced translocation, 46,XY,t(5;7;6)(q11.2;q32;q13)dn. Subsequent molecular characterization by whole-genome sequencing (WGS) identified 23 breakpoints, delineating segments derived from four chromosomes (5;6;7;21) in ancestral or inverted orientation. One of the breakpoints disrupted a known CdLS gene, NIPBL. Further investigation revealed paternal origin of the CCR allele, clustering of the breakpoint junctions, and molecular repair signatures suggestive of a single catastrophic event. Notably, very short DNA segments (25 and 41?bp) were included in the reassembled chromosomes, lending additional support that the DNA repair machinery can detect and repair such segments. Interestingly, there was an independent paternally derived miniscule complex rearrangement, possibly predisposing to subsequent genomic instability. In conclusion, we report a CCR causing a monogenic Mendelian disorder, urging WGS analysis of similar unsolved cases with suspected Mendelian disorders. Breakpoint analysis allowed for identification of the underlying molecular diagnosis and implicated chromoanagenesis in CCR formation.