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J Theor Biol. 2011 Aug 21;283(1):28-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2011.05.025. Epub 2011 May 25.

The distribution of alternating AT sequences in eukaryotic genomes suggests a role in homologous chromosome recognition in meiosis.

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  • 1Departament d'Enginyeria Química, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Av Diagonal 647, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain.


There are general features of chromosome dynamics, such as homologue recognition in early meiosis, which are expected to involve related sequence motifs in non-coding DNA, with a similar distribution in different species. A search for such motifs is presented here. It has been carried out with the CONREPP programme. It has been found that short alternating AT sequences (10-20 bases) have a similar distribution in most eukaryotic organisms, with some exceptions related to unique meiotic features. All other microsatellite and repeat sequences vary significantly in different organisms. It is concluded that the unique structural features and uniform distribution of alternating AT sequences indicate that they may facilitate homologous chromosome pairing in the early preleptotene stage of meiosis. They may also play a role in the compaction of DNA in mitotic chromosomes.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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