We report the molecular characterization of a ring X chromosome that was transmitted from a mother to a male who has short stature and minor dysmorphic features. This represents only the second reported ring X chromosome in a male. The ring is derived from breakage within the Xp pseudoautosomal region (PAR) and just proximal to the Xq PAR. The total amount of deleted material is 700-900 kb DNA and includes six known transcribed genes. Interestingly, SHOX, a gene implicated in short stature, is not deleted from the ring chromosome. Possible pathogenetic explanations for the patient's clinical features include insufficient dosage of deleted genes, a position effect on SHOX expression, and cell death during development because of ring chromosome nondisjunction. The findings are also relevant to observations made of "complete" ring chromosomes.
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