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Hum Genet. 1976 Mar 12;31(3):247-62.

Structural variability of human chromosome 9 in relation to its evolution.


Human chromosome 9 shows a high susceptibility for structural rearrangements, particularly pericentric inversions, which often are transmitted. Three types of pericentric inversions can be observed on No. 9: 1) Type I, showing the total constitutive heterochromatin in the short arm. 2) Type II with part of the C heterochromatin on the short arm, the rest located on the long arm proximal to the centromere. 3) Type III: a subtelocentric chromosome with part of the C heterochromatin in the very short arm and the rest located interstitially on the long arm. With these inversions as well as with other structural rearrangements, e.g. translocations, the break-points are located preferentially within the C heterochromatin or close to the heterochromatic-euchromatic junctions. These findings are in contrast to the findings in lymphocytes from 5 patients with fancomi's and after irradiation in vitro, reported in the literature. In lymphocytes break-points seem to be distributed more or less by chance. These observations together led us to speculate that human chromosome 9 primarily was an acrocentric chrosome; in morphology and at least in some functions similar to D- and G-group chromosomes. During evolution this acrocentric chromsome changed to a submetacentric one due to a pericentric inversion.

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