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Genomics. 1991 Oct;11(2):235-41.

Mouse minor satellite DNA genetically maps to the centromere and is physically linked to the proximal telomere.

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MRC Human Genetics Unit, Western General Hospital, Edinburg, United Kingdom.


As an adjunct to attempts to define functionally important sequences at human centromeres, we have undertaken a long-range physical analysis of these regions in the mouse. Mouse centromeres are usually situated very close to the chromosome ends and are closely associated with minor satellite sequences on the basis of cytological observations. Using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis we find that this satellite DNA is arranged as tandem arrays, predominantly uninterrupted by nonsatellite sequences. These arrays can be released largely intact by digestion with a range of enzymes that generally cleave frequently in non-satellite DNA. The restriction fragments carrying these arrays are polymorphic in size between inbred strains and provide direct markers for mouse centromeres. To illustrate the possible use of these polymorphic markers we have mapped a 1.3-Mb PvuII variant in a set of RI strains to the centromere of Chromosome 7. The minor satellite arrays are very close to the centromeric telomere and physical linkage with terminal repeat sequences can readily be detected, placing many minor satellite arrays on terminal restriction fragments smaller than 1 Mb. The apparent lack of any sizable amount of nonsatellite DNA between the minor satellite and the terminal repeat arrays indicates that many mouse chromosomes are truly telocentric.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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