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Genomics. 1995 Sep 20;29(2):353-63.

CpG islands in human ZFX and ZFY and mouse Zfx genes: sequence similarities and methylation differences.

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Howard Hughes Research Laboratories at Whitehead Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA.


The human ZFX, human ZFY, and mouse Zfx genes have CpG islands near their 5; ends. These islands are typical in that they span about 1.5 kb, contain transcription initiation sites, and encompass some 5' untranslated exons and introns. However, comparitive nucleotide sequencing of these human and mouse islands provided evidence of evolutionary conservation to a degree unprecedented among mammalian 5' CpG islands. In one stretch of 165 nucleotides containing 19 CpGs, mouse Zfx and human ZFX are identical to each other and differ from human ZFY at only 9 nucleotides. In contrast, we found no evidence of homologous CpG islands in the mouse Zfy genes, whose transcription is more circumscribed than that of human ZFX, human ZFY, and mouse Zfx. Using the isoschizomers HpaII and MspI to examine a highly conserved segment of the ZFX CpG island, we detected methylation on inactive mouse X chromosomes but not on inactive human X chromosomes. These observations parallel the previous findings that mouse Zfx undergoes X inactivation while human ZFX escapes it.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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