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Bioessays. 2008 Nov;30(11-12):1126-37. doi: 10.1002/bies.20829.

Evolutionary plasticity and cancer breakpoints in human chromosome 3.

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  • 1Evolutionary Genomics Group, Department of Botany and Zoology, University of Stellenbosch, Matieland, South Africa.


In this review, we focus on the evolutionary and biomedical aspects of the architecture of human chromosome 3 (HSA3) by analyzing chromosomal regions that have been conserved during the evolutionary process, compared to those that have been involved in the genomic restructuring of different placental lineages. Given that the organization of human chromosome 3 is derived when compared to the ancestral primate karyotype, and is an autosome that is commonly implicated in human tumour formation, we examined the patterns of change and the genomic consequences that have resulted from its complex evolutionary history. The data show four discrete chromosomal regions that are frequently implicated in chromosomal rearrangements (3p25, 3p22, 3p12 and 3q21). These are rich in repetitive elements and are commonly implicated in structural rearrangements that underpin human genomic disorders and neoplasias. Additional Supporting Information may be found in the online version of this article.

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