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Am J Hum Genet. 1999 May;64(5):1427-39.

Evidence for effective suppression of recombination in the chromosome 17q21 segment spanning RNU2-BRCA1.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Abstract

Characterization of associations between polymorphic sites located throughout the approximately 200-400-kb variable-length region spanning RNU2-BRCA1 reveals nearly complete linkage disequilibrium. This segment spans the RNU2 array, which includes 6-30 tandem copies of the U2 snRNA gene, and an adjacent region containing NBR1, the LBRCA1 pseudogene, NBR2, and BRCA1 in a tandemly duplicated structure. A series of biallelic polymorphisms define two common haplotypes that do not vary significantly, in structure or frequency, between populations of primarily European (n=275) or Asian (n=34) ancestry. Lower-frequency variants occurring at distantly located sites within this region also show very strong associations. The rarer haplotype classes appear to be distinguished by mutational alteration and are not recombination products of the two major classes. The two major haplotypes also exhibit significantly different allele-length distributions for local simple tandem-repeat markers. The conservation of extensive distinct chromosomal haplotypes during a long period of human population expansion and divergence indicates that selective forces or specific chromosomal mechanisms result in effective recombination suppression. The extreme degree of long-range linkage disequilibrium at this locus may be exceeded only by that reported for the human MHC locus, where allele-specific functional interactions are believed to be significant. These findings have implications for the estimation of the time of origin of BRCA1 mutations having a founder effect, the interpretation of the significance of rare allelic variants, and the study of the origins of modern populations.

PMID:
10205276
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1377881
Free PMC Article
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