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Genomics. 1999 Feb 15;56(1):98-110.

A genomic region encompassing a cluster of olfactory receptor genes and a myosin light chain kinase (MYLK) gene is duplicated on human chromosome regions 3q13-q21 and 3p13.

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IGH, CNRS UPR 1142, 141 rue de la Cardonille, Montpellier CĂ©dex 5, 34396, France.


The olfactory receptor (OR) multigene family is widely distributed in the human genome. We characterize here a new cluster of four OR genes (HGMW-approved symbols OR7E20P, OR7E6P, OR7E21P, and OR7E22P) on human chromosome 3p13 that is contained in an approximately 250-kb region. This region has been physically mapped, and a 106-kb portion containing the OR genes has been sequenced. All the OR sequences are disrupted by frameshifts and stop codons and appear to have arisen through local duplications. A myosin light chain kinase pseudogene (HGMW-approved symbol MYLKP) lies at one end of the OR gene cluster. Sequences spanning the entire region are also present at 3q13-q21, the site of the functional MYLK gene. This region duplicated locally before the divergence of primates, and the two paralogous copies were later separated to sites on either side of the centromere. This study increases our understanding of the evolution of the human genome. The 3p13 cluster is the first example of a tandem array of OR pseudogenes, and duplications of such clusters may account for the accumulation of a large number of pseudogenes in the human genome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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