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Am J Hum Genet. 1987 Nov;41(5):882-90.

Induction of sister chromatid exchanges at common fragile sites.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Michigan, School of Medicine, Ann Arbor 48109-0718.


Experiments were performed to gain further insight into chromosome structure and behavior at common fragile sites by testing the hypothesis that gaps at these sites predispose to intrachromosomal recombination as measured by sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs). Human lymphocytes were concurrently treated with aphidicolin, for determination of fragile site expression, and with 5-bromodeoxy-uridine, for SCE analysis. Aphidicolin induced chromosome gaps nonrandomly, with the great majority of gaps occurring at common fragile sites. On average, 66% of gaps were accompanied by an SCE at the site of the lesion. Analysis of two specific common fragile sites at 3p14 and 16q23 showed the same pattern; that is, on average 70% of gaps at these sites were accompanied by an SCE. These results show that common fragile sites are hot spots not only for chromosomal lesions such as gaps but also for SCE formation.

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