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Inherited Disorders and Birth Defects

46 y chromosome

09/22/2006

Question:

What if the 46 y chromosome is too little? What if part of it was deleted, or translocated? What diseases would that mean for the baby? I understood that it can be problem for the male baby, but not for the female baby-is it true?

Answer:

From your question about the Y chromosome, it is difficult to say what exactly what that means for the baby.

Humans have 46 chromosomes. Of those, two chromosomes are the sex chromosomes - females have 2 X`s and males have an X and Y. There are only a small number of genes that have been mapped to the Y chromosome - but some of those play a critical role in male development. Depending on what part of the Y chromosome is missing (deleted) or if part of the Y chromosome has been translocated to another chromosome - there may be no associated problems or there could be problems with normal development, abnormalities of the genitalia or infertility, etc.

Because only males have a Y chromosome, this would not affect females.

If you have specific questions about this problem, I would recommend that you talk to a geneticist or genetic counselor. The genetics team could provide you with specific information based on the exact Y chromosome abnormality seen. You can ask your doctor for a referral or contact the website below to locate a genetics center near you.

Related Resources:

National Society of Genetic Counselors Resource Center

For more information:

Go to the Inherited Disorders and Birth Defects health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Anne   Matthews, RN, PhD Anne Matthews, RN, PhD
Associate Professor of Genetics
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University