Genetic Studies of Prader–Willi Patients Provide Evidence for Conservation of Genomic Architecture in Proximal Chromosome 15q


Corresponding author: Ken-Shiung Chen, School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, 60 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637551, Singapore. Tel: (65) 63162829/(65) 63162827; Fax: (65) 67913856; E-mail:


Prader–Willi syndrome (PWS) is a neurogenetic disorder associated with recurrent genomic recombination involving low copy repeats (LCRs) located in the human chromosome 15q11-q13. Previous studies of PWS patients from Asia suggested that there is a higher incidence of deletion and lower incidence of maternal uniparental disomy (mUPD) compared to that of Western populations. In this report, we present genetic etiology of 28 PWS patients from Taiwan. Consistent with the genetic etiology findings from Western populations, the type II deletion appears to be the most common deletion subtype. Furthermore, the ratio of the two most common deletion subtypes and the ratio of the maternal heterodisomy to isodisomy cases observed from this study are in agreement with previous findings from Western populations. In addition, we identified and further mapped the deletion breakpoints in two patients with atypical deletions using array CGH (comparative genomic hybridization). Despite the relatively small numbers of patients in each subgroup, our findings suggest that the genomic architecture responsible for the recurrent recombination in PWS is conserved in Taiwanese of the Han Chinese heritage and Western populations, thereby predisposing chromosome 15q11-q13 to a similar risk of rearrangements.