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Cytogenet Cell Genet. 1996;73(1-2):123-9.

A stable marker chromosome with a cryptic centromere: evidence for centromeric sequences associated with an inverted duplication.

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Department of Biology and Genetics, Medical School, University of Milan, Italy.


Centromere activation, an important mechanism in karyotype evolution, is occasionally observed in some human chromosome rearrangements. We report a possible occurrence of centromere activation in a marker chromosome containing an atypical centromere associated with an inverted duplication of the region 14q32 --> qter. The marker chromosome's reduced centromere lacks both the alpha and beta satellite sequences usually found at normal centromeres. In an attempt to identify the centromeric sequences, the marker chromosome was flow-sorted and amplified by a degenerate oligonucleotide primer polymerase chain reaction. Reverse chromosome painting experiments showed that the marker chromosome contains sequences that are unique to the distal region of chromosome 14, as well as a low copy number of (centromeric) sequences that are also highly represented in the centromeres of chromosomes 18 and 19. These data suggest the activation of a novel centromere in the 14q32 --> qter region, very likely consequent to the duplication of the region itself.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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