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Genomics. 1989 Jul;5(1):153-6.

Breakage of the human Y-chromosome short arm between two blocks of tandemly repeated DNA sequences.

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Division of Genetics and Mental Retardation Center, Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.


Y-chromosomal rearrangements, a common cause of sex reversal in man, frequently occur between two blocks of repeated DNA. Both blocks are composed of 20-kb tandemly repeated Y-chromosome-specific DNA sequences. They are located in the proximal portion of the Y short arm on a NotI restriction fragment of approximately 5.3 Mb and on an MluI fragment of approximately 5.5 Mb. Chromosome breaks positioned between the two blocks were detected in two of three 46,XY females with deletions of Yp and in five of six 46,XX males positive for the repeat sequences. The rearranged NotI fragments in the 46,XX males were 4.4 Mb and the MluI fragments were 2.0 Mb in length. This indicates that breaks occur within a small region of Yp defined by the two blocks of specific repeated DNA sequences. The region between the two blocks thus appears to be a focus of structural lability in the human Y chromosome.

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