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Genomics. 1989 Nov;5(4):925-31.

The human alpha 2(XI) collagen gene (COL11A2) maps to the centromeric border of the major histocompatibility complex on chromosome 6.

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  • 1Imperial Cancer Research Fund, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, United Kingdom.


Type XI collagen, a minor structural component of cartilage fibrils, is composed of three chains, alpha 1(XI), alpha 2(XI), and alpha 3(XI). Using a cloned fragment of the human alpha 2(XI) collagen gene (COL11A2) as a molecular probe for in situ hybridization and somatic cell hybrid mapping, we have localized the gene to the short arm of chromosome 6, region 21.3. By exploiting the rich source of probes provided by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes, which also map to this chromosomal band, we have constructed macrorestriction maps of the region by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and have localized the alpha 2(XI) collagen gene to the centromeric extreme of the MHC. Finally, we have demonstrated, by the isolation of overlapping cosmid clones, that the gene is 45 kb centromeric to the HLA-DPB2 locus and oriented with the 3' end toward the MHC. The COL11A2 locus thus demarcates the proximal boundary of the MHC. This finding may have implications for the understanding of certain MHC-linked diseases.

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