X-linked ichthyosis results from steroid sulfatase (STS) deficiency; 90% of affected patients have a complete deletion of the entire 146 kb STS gene on the distal X chromosome short arm (Xp22.3). In these families prenatal diagnosis and carrier testing can be completed in 2 days by hybridizing simultaneously 2 different cosmid probes labeled with fluorescein or Texas red and counterstaining interphase nuclear DNA with DAPI. An STS gene probe labeled with Texas red hybridizes specifically to the steroid sulfatase gene on the X chromosome. A second flanking probe labeled with fluorescein hybridizes to both the normal Y chromosome and normal and STS deleted X chromosomes. In this fashion the interphase nuclei of normal males, affected males, normal females, and carrier females can be distinguished unambiguously. Because normal males and carrier females each show two yellow- green fluorescein spots and one Texas red STS spot, use of this test prenatally requires determining fetal sex independently with repetitive X and Y chromosome-specific probes. This procedure can be used with lymphocytes, direct and cultured chorionic villus cells, direct and cultured amniocytes, and fibroblasts. Similar methods are anticipated to be useful for rapid diagnostic assessment of other aneuploid gene disorders.
- X-linked ichthyosis
- multicolor in situ hybridization
- steroid sulfatase deficiency