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Chromosoma. 2002 Dec;111(5):341-7. Epub 2002 Oct 25.

Unusual chromosome cleavage dynamic in rodent neonatal germ cells.

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Laboratoire de radiosensibilité des cellules germinales, Département de Radiobiologie et Radiopathologie CEA/DSV BP, No6 92265 Fontenay-aux-roses, France.


At the metaphase/anaphase transition in the mouse and rat male germ lines during the perinatal period, sister centromeres separate before sister chromatids. This gives the chromosomes an unusual appearance that resembles the premature centromere division described in some human pathological conditions such as Roberts syndrome. At the same period, there is also an unusual pattern of DNA methylation, with strongly demethylated heterochromatin and methylated euchromatin. This suggests that chromosome DNA methylation may modulate chromatid and centromere splitting, without altering normal chromosome segregation.

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