Chromosome-specific alpha satellite DNA from the centromere of human chromosome 16.
To examine the molecular organization of DNA sequences located in the centromeric region of human chromosome 16 we have isolated and characterized a chromosome 16-specific member of the alpha satellite DNA family. The probe obtained is specific for the centromere of chromosome 16 by somatic cell hybrid analysis and by fluorescence in situ hybridization and allows detection of specific hybridizing domains in interphase nuclei. Nucleotide sequence analysis indicates that this class of chromosome 16 alpha satellite (D16Z2) is organized as a series of diverged 340-bp dimers arranged in a tandem array of 1.7-kb higher-order repeat units. As measured by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, the total D16Z2 array spans approximately 1,400-2,000 kb of centromeric DNA. These sequences are highly polymorphic, both by conventional agarose-gel electrophoresis and by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Investigation of this family of alpha satellite should facilitate the further genomic, cytogenetic, and genetic analysis of chromosome 16.
Greig, GM; England, SB; Bedford, HM; Willard, HF
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