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Genetic Heterogeneity
Genetic heterogeneity occurs through the production of single or similar phenotypes through different genetic mechanisms. There are two types of genetic heterogeneity: allelic heterogeneity, which occurs when a similar phenotype is produced by different alleles within the same gene; and ''locus'' heterogeneity, which occurs when a similar phenotype is produced by mutations at different ''loci''. Role in medical disorders Marked genetic heterogeneity is correlated to multiple levels of causation in many common human diseases including cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer's disease, autism spectrum disorders, inherited predisposition to breast cancer, and non-syndromic hearing loss. These levels of causation are complex and occur through: (1) rare, individual mutations that when combined contribute to the development of common diseases; (2) the accumulation of many different rare, individual mutations within the same gene that contribute to the development of the same common disease within dif ...
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Allelic Heterogeneity
Allelic heterogeneity is the phenomenon in which different mutations at the same locus lead to the same or very similar phenotypes. These allelic variations can arise as a result of natural selection processes, as a result of exogenous mutagens, genetic drift, or genetic migration. Many of these mutations take the form of single nucleotide polymorphisms in which a single nucleotide base is altered compared to a consensus sequence. They can also exist as copy number variants (CNV) in which the copies of a gene or DNA sequence is different from the population. Mutated alleles expressing allelic heterogeneity can be classified as adaptive or disadaptive. These mutations can occur in the germ line cells, somatic cells, or in the mitochondrial. Mutations in germ line cells can be inherited as well as mitochondrial allelic mutations. The mitochondrial allelic mutations are inherited maternally. Typically in the human genome a small amount of allele variants account for ~75% of the ...
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BRCA1
Breast cancer type 1 susceptibility protein is a protein that in humans is encoded by the ''BRCA1'' () gene. Orthologs are common in other vertebrate species, whereas invertebrate genomes may encode a more distantly related gene. ''BRCA1'' is a human tumor suppressor gene (also known as a caretaker gene) and is responsible for repairing DNA. ''BRCA1'' and '' BRCA2'' are unrelated proteins, but both are normally expressed in the cells of breast and other tissue, where they help repair damaged DNA, or destroy cells if DNA cannot be repaired. They are involved in the repair of chromosomal damage with an important role in the error-free repair of DNA double-strand breaks. If ''BRCA1'' or ''BRCA2'' itself is damaged by a BRCA mutation, damaged DNA is not repaired properly, and this increases the risk for breast cancer. ''BRCA1'' and ''BRCA2'' have been described as "breast cancer susceptibility genes" and "breast cancer susceptibility proteins". The predominant allele has a norm ...
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Genome-wide Association Studies
In genomics, a genome-wide association study (GWA study, or GWAS), also known as whole genome association study (WGA study, or WGAS), is an observational study of a genome-wide set of genetic variants in different individuals to see if any variant is associated with a trait. GWA studies typically focus on associations between single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and traits like major human diseases, but can equally be applied to any other genetic variants and any other organisms. When applied to human data, GWA studies compare the DNA of participants having varying phenotypes for a particular trait or disease. These participants may be people with a disease (cases) and similar people without the disease (controls), or they may be people with different phenotypes for a particular trait, for example blood pressure. This approach is known as phenotype-first, in which the participants are classified first by their clinical manifestation(s), as opposed to genotype-first. Each pers ...
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Y-linked
Y linkage, also known as holandric inheritance (from Ancient Greek ὅλος ''hólos'', "whole" + ἀνδρός ''andrós'', "male"), describes traits that are produced by genes located on the Y chromosome. It is a form of sex linkage. Y linkage can be difficult to detect. This is partly because the Y chromosome is small and contains fewer genes than the autosomal chromosomes or the X chromosome. It is estimated to contain about 200 genes. Earlier, the human Y chromosome was thought to have little importance;. Although the Y-chromosome is sex-determining in humans and some other species, not all genes that play a role in sex determination are Y-linked. The Y-chromosome, generally does not undergo genetic recombination and only small regions called pseudoautosomal regions exhibit recombination. The majority of the Y-chromosome genes that do not recombine are located in the "non-recombining region". For a trait to be considered Y linkage, it must exhibit these charac ...
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X-linked
Sex linked describes the sex-specific patterns of inheritance and presentation when a gene mutation (allele) is present on a sex chromosome (allosome) rather than a non-sex chromosome (autosome). In humans, these are termed X-linked recessive, X-linked dominant and Y-linked. The inheritance and presentation of all three differ depending on the sex of both the parent and the child. This makes them characteristically different from autosomal dominance and recessiveness. There are many more X-linked conditions than Y-linked conditions, since humans have several times as many genes on the X chromosome than the Y chromosome. Only females are able to be carriers for X-linked conditions; males will always be affected by any X-linked condition, since they have no second X chromosome with a healthy copy of the gene. As such, X-linked recessive conditions affect males much more commonly than females. In X-linked recessive inheritance, a son born to a carrier mother and an unaffected f ...
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Autosomal Recessive
In genetics, dominance is the phenomenon of one variant ( allele) of a gene on a chromosome masking or overriding the effect of a different variant of the same gene on the other copy of the chromosome. The first variant is termed dominant and the second recessive. This state of having two different variants of the same gene on each chromosome is originally caused by a mutation in one of the genes, either new (''de novo'') or inherited. The terms autosomal dominant or autosomal recessive are used to describe gene variants on non-sex chromosomes ( autosomes) and their associated traits, while those on sex chromosomes (allosomes) are termed X-linked dominant, X-linked recessive or Y-linked; these have an inheritance and presentation pattern that depends on the sex of both the parent and the child (see Sex linkage). Since there is only one copy of the Y chromosome, Y-linked traits cannot be dominant or recessive. Additionally, there are other forms of dominance such as in ...
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Autosomal Dominant
In genetics, dominance is the phenomenon of one variant (allele) of a gene on a chromosome masking or overriding the effect of a different variant of the same gene on the other copy of the chromosome. The first variant is termed dominant and the second recessive. This state of having two different variants of the same gene on each chromosome is originally caused by a mutation in one of the genes, either new (''de novo'') or inherited. The terms autosomal dominant or autosomal recessive are used to describe gene variants on non-sex chromosomes (autosomes) and their associated traits, while those on sex chromosomes (allosomes) are termed X-linked dominant, X-linked recessive or Y-linked; these have an inheritance and presentation pattern that depends on the sex of both the parent and the child (see Sex linkage). Since there is only one copy of the Y chromosome, Y-linked traits cannot be dominant or recessive. Additionally, there are other forms of dominance such as incomple ...
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Fanconi Anemia
Fanconi anaemia (FA) is a rare genetic disease resulting in impaired response to DNA damage. Although it is a very rare disorder, study of this and other bone marrow failure syndromes has improved scientific understanding of the mechanisms of normal bone marrow function and development of cancer. Among those affected, the majority develop cancer, most often acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), and 90% develop aplastic anemia (the inability to produce blood cells) by age 40. About 60–75% have congenital defects, commonly short stature, abnormalities of the skin, arms, head, eyes, kidneys, and ears, and developmental disabilities. Around 75% have some form of endocrine problem, with varying degrees of severity. FA is the result of a genetic defect in a cluster of proteins responsible for DNA repair via homologous recombination. Treatment with androgens and hematopoietic (blood cell) growth factors can help bone marrow failure temporarily, but the long-term treatment is bone mar ...
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BRCA2
''BRCA2'' and BRCA2 () are a human gene and its protein product, respectively. The official symbol (BRCA2, italic for the gene, nonitalic for the protein) and the official name (originally breast cancer 2; currently BRCA2, DNA repair associated) are maintained by the HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee. One alternative symbol, FANCD1, recognizes its association with the FANC protein complex. Orthologs, styled ''Brca2'' and Brca2, are common in other vertebrate species. May 2021 ''BRCA2'' is a human tumor suppressor gene (specifically, a caretaker gene), found in all humans; its protein, also called by the synonym breast cancer type 2 susceptibility protein, is responsible for repairing DNA. ''BRCA2'' and ''BRCA1'' are normally expressed in the cells of breast and other tissue, where they help repair damaged DNA or destroy cells if DNA cannot be repaired. They are involved in the repair of chromosomal damage with an important role in the error-free repair of DNA double stran ...
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Fragile X Syndrome
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a genetic disorder characterized by mild-to-moderate intellectual disability. The average IQ in males with FXS is under 55, while about two thirds of affected females are intellectually disabled. Physical features may include a long and narrow face, large ears, flexible fingers, and large testicles. About a third of those affected have features of autism such as problems with social interactions and delayed speech. Hyperactivity is common, and seizures occur in about 10%. Males are usually more affected than females. This disorder and finding of Fragile X syndrome has an X-linked dominant inheritance. It is typically caused by an expansion of the CGG triplet repeat within the '' FMR1'' (fragile X messenger ribonucleoprotein 1) gene on the X chromosome. This results in silencing ( methylation) of this part of the gene and a deficiency of the resultant protein (FMRP), which is required for the normal development of connections between neurons. D ...
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Locus Heterogeneity
Locus heterogeneity occurs when mutations at multiple genomic loci are capable of producing the same phenotype (ie. a single trait, pattern of traits, or disorder), and each individual mutation is sufficient to cause the specific phenotype independently. Locus heterogeneity should not be confused with allelic heterogeneity, in which a single phenotype can be produced by multiple mutations, all of which are at the same locus on a chromosome. Likewise, it should not be confused with phenotypic heterogeneity, in which different phenotypes arise among organisms with identical genotypes and environmental conditions. Locus heterogeneity and allelic heterogeneity are the two components of genetic heterogeneity. Locus heterogeneity may have major implications for a number of human diseases. For instance, it has been associated with retinitis pigmentosa, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, osteogenesis imperfecta, and familial hypercholesterolemia. Heterogenous loci involved in formation of the ...
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Autism Spectrum Disorders
The autism spectrum, often referred to as just autism or in the context of a professional diagnosis autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or autism spectrum condition (ASC), is a neurodevelopmental condition (or conditions) characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and the presence of repetitive behavior and restricted interests. Other common signs include unusual responses to sensory stimuli. Autism is generally understood as a ''spectrum disorder'', which means that it can manifest differently in each person: any given autistic individual is likely to show some, but not all, of the characteristics associated with it, and the person may exhibit them to varying degrees. Some autistic people remain nonspeaking over the course of their lifespan, while others have relatively unimpaired spoken language. There is large variation in the level of support people require, and the same person may present differently at varying times. Historically, ...
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