Uniparental disomy (UPD) occurs when a person receives two copies of a chromosome, or part of a chromosome, from one parent and no copies from the other parent. UPD can occur as a random event during the formation of egg or sperm cells or may happen in early fetal development. more...
In many cases, UPD likely has no effect on health or development. Because most genes are not imprinted, it doesn’t matter if a person inherits both copies from one parent instead of one copy from each parent. In some cases, however, it does make a difference whether a gene is inherited from a person’s mother or father. A person with UPD may lack any active copies of essential genes that undergo genomic imprinting. This loss of gene function can lead to delayed development, mental retardation, or other medical problems.
The most well-known conditions include Prader-Willi syndrome and Angelman syndrome. Both of these disorders can be caused by UPD or other errors in imprinting involving genes on the long arm of chromosome 15. Other conditions, such as Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, are associated with abnormalities of imprinted genes on the short arm of chromosome 11.
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