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Nucleic Acids Res. Mar 11, 1990; 18(5): 1121–1127.
PMCID: PMC330424

The human minisatellite consensus at breakpoints of oncogene translocations.


A reexamination of human minisatellite (hypervariable) regions following the cloning and sequencing of the new minisatellite, VTR1.1, revealed that many of these structures possessed a strongly conserved copy of the chi-like octamer, GC[A/T]GG[A/T]GG. In oncogene translocations apparently created by aberrant VDJ recombinase activity, this VTR octamer was often found within a few bases of the breakpoint (p less than 10(-10)). Three bcl2 rearrangements which occurred within 2 bp of one another were located precisely adjacent to this consensus; it defined the 5' border of that oncogene's major breakpoint cluster. Several c-myc translocations also occurred within 2 bp of this sequence. While the appearance of a chi-like element in polymorphic minisatellite sequences is consistent with a role promoting either recombination or replication slippage, the existence of such elements at sites of somatic translocations suggests chi function in site-specific recombination, perhaps as a subsidiary recognition signal in immunoglobulin gene rearrangement. We discuss the implications of these observations for mechanisms by which oncogene translocations and minisatellite sequences are generated.

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Selected References

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