Integrated small copy number variations and epigenome maps of disorders of sex development

Ina E. Amarillo, Isabelle Nievera, Andrew Hagan, Vishwa Huchthagowder, Jennifer Heeley, Abby Hollander, Joel Koenig, Paul Austin, Ting Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Small copy number variations (CNVs) have typically not been analyzed or reported in clinical settings and hence have remained underrepresented in databases and the literature. Here, we focused our investigations on these small CNVs using chromosome microarray analysis (CMA) data previously obtained from patients with atypical characteristics or disorders of sex development (DSD). Using our customized CMA track targeting 334 genes involved in the development of urogenital and reproductive structures and a less stringent analysis filter, we uncovered small genes with recurrent and overlapping CNVs as small as 1 kb, and small regions of homozygosity (ROHs), imprinting and position effects. Detailed analysis of these high-resolution data revealed CNVs and ROHs involving structural and functional domains, repeat elements, active transcription sites and regulatory regions. Integration of these genomic data with DNA methylation, histone modification and predicted RNA expression profiles in normal testes and ovaries suggested spatiotemporal and tissue-specific gene regulation. This study emphasized a DSD-specific and gene-targeted CMA approach that uncovered previously unanalyzed or unreported small genes and CNVs, contributing to the growing resources on small CNVs and facilitating the narrowing of the genomic gap for identifying candidate genes or regions. This high-resolution analysis tool could improve the diagnostic utility of CMA, not only in patients with DSD but also in other clinical populations. These integrated data provided a better genomic-epigenomic landscape of DSD and greater opportunities for downstream research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16012
JournalHuman Genome Variation
StatePublished - Jun 9 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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