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Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2002 Jun;34(2):154-67.

The common fragile site FRA16D and its associated gene WWOX are highly conserved in the mouse at Fra8E1.

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Division of Experimental Pathology, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.


Recently, several common fragile sites (CFSs) have been cloned and characterized, including the two most frequently observed in the human population, FRA3B and FRA16D. In addition to their high frequency of breakage, FRA3B and FRA16D colocalize with genes crossing large regions of breakage. At FRA3B, the fragile histidine triad (FHIT) gene spans more than 1 Mb, and at FRA16D, the WWOX gene spans more than 750 kb. It has also been shown that in Mus musculus, a CFS Fra14A2 and the mouse Fhit gene are conserved in the orthologous region of the genome. In this study, we positioned the ortholog to WWOX (Wox1) at chromosome band 8E1 in the mouse genome. To determine whether, like Fra14A2 and Fhit, Fra8E1 and Wox1 colocalized in the mouse, we prepared bacterial and yeast artificial chromosome probes, and we hybridized them to aphidicolin-treated mouse metaphase chromosomes. Our data demonstrate that Wox1 colocalizes with Fra8E1. Furthermore, the sequence from this region, including introns, is highly conserved over at least a 100-kb region. This evolutionary conservation suggests that the two most active CFSs share many features, and that CFSs and their associated genes may be necessary for cell survival.

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