Relevance of Mitosis and Meiosis

Medical Relevance of Mitosis and Meiosis

As we see in detail in Chapter 5, meiotic nondisjunction, particularly in oogenesis, is the most common mutational mechanism in our species, responsible for chromosomally abnormal fetuses in at least several percent of all recognized pregnancies. Among pregnancies that survive to term, chromosome abnormalities are a leading cause of developmental defects, failure to thrive in the newborn period, and intellectual disability.

Mitotic nondisjunction in somatic cells also contributes to genetic disease. Nondisjunction soon after fertilization, either in the developing embryo or in extraembryonic tissues like the placenta, leads to chromosomal mosaicism that can underlie some medical conditions, such as a proportion of patients with Down syndrome. Further, abnormal chromosome segregation in rapidly dividing tissues, such as in cells of the colon, is frequently a step in the development of chromosomally abnormal tumors, and thus evaluation of chromosome and genome balance is an important diagnostic and prognostic test in many cancers.

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Nov 27, 2016 | Posted by in GENERAL & FAMILY MEDICINE | Comments Off on Relevance of Mitosis and Meiosis

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