Research Article

The role of α-satellite DNA and heterochromatin polymorphism in leukemia patients and illicit drug addicts

Published: November 25, 2011
Genet. Mol. Res. 10 (4) : 3999-4005 DOI: 10.4238/2001.November.25.3

Abstract

Heterochromatin is considered to play a role in protecting the genome against mutagens. Changes in the quantity and proportion of different types of satellite DNA could increase genetic susceptibility in individuals with heterochromatic variations; they cause chromosome instability and predispose patients to malignancies. We evaluated the heterochromatin associated with chromosomes in 50 leukemia patients, 93 drug addicts and 93 healthy controls from Tehran, Iran. Barium hydroxide saline Giemsa staining was used to examine heterochromatin polymorphism of chromosomes 1, 9 and 16 in lymphocyte cultures. There were significant differences in this polymorphism in lymphocytes from drug addicts and leukemia patients compared to healthy controls. These polymorphisms could serve as markers for the detection and characterization of chromosome damage in leukemia patients and drug addicts.

Heterochromatin is considered to play a role in protecting the genome against mutagens. Changes in the quantity and proportion of different types of satellite DNA could increase genetic susceptibility in individuals with heterochromatic variations; they cause chromosome instability and predispose patients to malignancies. We evaluated the heterochromatin associated with chromosomes in 50 leukemia patients, 93 drug addicts and 93 healthy controls from Tehran, Iran. Barium hydroxide saline Giemsa staining was used to examine heterochromatin polymorphism of chromosomes 1, 9 and 16 in lymphocyte cultures. There were significant differences in this polymorphism in lymphocytes from drug addicts and leukemia patients compared to healthy controls. These polymorphisms could serve as markers for the detection and characterization of chromosome damage in leukemia patients and drug addicts.