Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary G- and R-banded chromosome preparations from eight of twelve 46,XX males, with no evidence of mosaicism or a free Y chromosome, were distinguished in blind trials from preparations from normal 46,XX females by virtue of heteromorphism of the short arm of one X chromosome. Photographic measurements on X chromosomes and on chromosome pair 7 in cells from twelve 46,XX males, eight 46,XX females, and four 46,XY males revealed a significant increase in the size of the p arm of one X chromosome in the group of XX males, independently characterised as being heteromorphic for Xp. No such differences were observed between X chromosomes of normal males and females or between homologues of chromosome pair 7 in all groups. The heteromorphism in XX males is a consequence of an alteration in shape (banding profile) and length of the tip of the short arm of one X chromosome, and the difference in size of the two Xp arms in these 46,XXp+ males ranged from 0.4% to 22.9%. From various considerations, including the demonstration of a Y-specific DNA fragment in DNA digests from nuclei of one of three XX males tested, it is concluded that the Xp+ chromosome is a product of Xp-Yp exchange. These exchanges are assumed to originate at meiosis in the male parent and may involve an exchange of different amounts of material. The consequences of such unequal exchange are considered in terms of the inheritance of genes located on Yp and distal Xp. No obvious phenotypic difference was associated with the presence or absence of Xp+. Thus, some males diagnosed as 46,XX are mosaic for a cryptic Y-containing cell line, and there is now excellent evidence that maleness in others may be a consequence of an autosomal recessive gene. The present data imply that in around 70% of 46,XX males, maleness is a consequence of the inheritance of a paternal X-Y interchange product.
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