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Chromosoma. 1996;104(5):345-7.

On the origin of lateral asymmetry.

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Los Alamos National Laboratory, Life Sciences Division, Mail Stop M888, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA.


Lateral asymmetry refers to unequal fluorescent intensity between adjacent regions of sister chromatids. It has been observed in the centromeric regions of mitotic chromosomes of mouse or human origin when cells are grown in 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) for a single round of DNA synthesis. The chromosome-orientation fluorescence in situ hybridization (CO-FISH) technique was used with pseudodiploid mouse cells to show that the regions of asymmetrical brightness coincide with major satellite repetitive DNA, and that the more heavily BrdU-substituted chromatid is the one that fluoresces less brightly. These observations support a 20 year old hypothesis on the origin of lateral asymmetry. Other observations suggest that differential loss of DNA from the heavily substituted chromatid also contributes to lateral asymmetry.

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