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Cell. 1990 Nov 16;63(4):763-72.

The controlling sequence for site-specific chromosome breakage in Tetrahymena.

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Division of Basic Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington 98104.


Site-specific chromosome breakage occurs in many ciliated protozoa during nuclear differentiation. We have determined the cis-acting sequence that controls this process in Tetrahymena thermophila. The Tetrahymena ribosomal RNA gene is bounded by two breakage sites. Injection of this gene into developing macronuclei leads to breakage at these sites. Deletion analysis has localized the sequences essential for breakage to a 28 bp region that includes a 15 bp sequence (Cbs) known to be present in other breakage sites. Insertions of Cbs allow breakage to occur at new sites, which is accompanied by elimination of surrounding DNAs and formation of telomeric sequences, as it is at natural sites. Thus, Cbs is the necessary and sufficient sequence signal for chromosome breakage in Tetrahymena.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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