Partial deletion of alpha satellite DNA associated with reduced amounts of the centromere protein CENP-B in a mitotically stable human chromosome rearrangement.
A familial, constitutionally rearranged human chromosome 17 is deleted for much of the DNA in its centromeric region but retains full mitotic centromere activity. Fluorescence in situ hybridization, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, and Southern blot analysis of the residual centromeric region revealed a approximately 700-kb centromeric array of tandemly repeated alpha satellite DNA that was only approximately 20 to 30% as large as a normal array. This deletion was associated with a reduction in the amount of the centromere-specific antigen CENP-B detected by indirect immunofluorescence. The coincidence of the primary constriction, the small residual array of alpha satellite DNA, and the reduced amount of detectable CENP-B support the hypothesis that CENP-B is associated with alpha satellite DNA. Furthermore, the finding that both the deleted chromosome 17 and its derivative supernumerary fragment retained mitotic function and possess centromeric protein antigens suggests that human centromeres are structurally and functionally repetitive.
Wevrick, R; Earnshaw, WC; Howard-Peebles, PN; Willard, HF
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