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Int J Parasitol. 2000 Apr 10;30(4):391-9.

Chromatin diminution in the parasitic nematodes ascaris suum and parascaris univalens.

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1
Institute of Zoology, University of Fribourg, CH-1700, Fribourg, Switzerland. Fritz.Mueller@unifr.ch

Abstract

Chromatin diminution in Parascaris univalens and Ascaris suum undoubtedly represents an interesting case of developmentally programmed DNA rearrangement in higher eukaryotes. It is a complex mechanism involving chromosomal breakage, new telomere addition and DNA degradation, and occurs in all presomatic cells. The process is rather specific with respect to its developmental timing and the chromosomal regions that are eliminated. The functional significance of chromatin diminution still remains an enigma. The fact, however, that single-copy, protein-coding genes are contained in the eliminated DNA demonstrates that in P. univalens and A. suum, there is a qualitative difference between germ-line and somatic genomes, and suggests that chromatin diminution may be used as a "throw-away" approach to gene regulation. We present a hypothesis as to how, during evolution, a partial genome duplication might have been linked to the process of chromatin diminution, in order to provide a selective advantage to parasitic DNA-eliminating nematodes.

PMID:
10731562
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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