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Genomics. 2004 Sep;84(3):458-67.

The evolutionary history of human chromosome 7.

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  • 1Institute for Anthropology and Human Genetics, Department of Biology II, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Richard-Wagner-Strasse 10, D-80333 Munich, Germany. s.mueller@lrz.uni-muenchen.de


We report on a comparative molecular cytogenetic and in silico study on evolutionary changes in human chromosome 7 homologs in all major primate lineages. The ancestral mammalian homologs comprise two chromosomes (7a and 7b/16p) and are conserved in carnivores. The subchromosomal organization of the ancestral primate segment 7a shared by a lemur and higher Old World monkeys is the result of a paracentric inversion. The ancestral higher primate chromosome form was then derived by a fission of 7b/16p, followed by a centric fusion of 7a/7b as observed in the orangutan. In hominoids two further inversions with four distinct breakpoints were described in detail: the pericentric inversion in the human/African ape ancestor and the paracentric inversion in the common ancestor of human and chimpanzee. FISH analysis employing BAC probes confined the 7p22.1 breakpoint of the pericentric inversion to 6.8 Mb on the human reference sequence map and the 7q22.1 breakpoint to 97.1 Mb. For the paracentric inversion the breakpoints were found in 7q11.23 between 76.1 and 76.3 Mb and in 7q22.1 at 101.9 Mb. All four breakpoints were flanked by large segmental duplications. Hybridization patterns of breakpoint-flanking BACs and the distribution of duplicons suggest their presence before the origin of both inversions. We propose a scenario by which segmental duplications may have been the cause rather than the result of these chromosome rearrangements.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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