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Genomics. 1997 Aug 15;44(1):35-44.

Contiguous arrays of satellites 1, 3, and beta form a 1.5-Mb domain on chromosome 22p.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Imperial College School of Medicine at St. Mary's, London, United Kingdom.


The centromeric heterochromatin of all the human chromosomes is composed of megabases of tandemly repeated satellite DNA. Some of these sequences have been implicated in centromere formation and/or segregation but the arrangement of most of them on a large scale remains largely uncharacterized because of the difficulties in analyzing repetitive DNA. The alpha satellite is the best studied and is present in large tandem arrays at all centromeres, but satellites 1, 3, and beta have also been detected on a number of chromosomes. Here we have used FISH to extended DNA fibers to analyze these satellites on the short arm of the acrocentric chromosome 22. The satellite sequences were found to form a continuous domain spanning about 1.5 Mb and consisting of a major block of satellite 1 flanked by two blocks of beta satellite and three blocks of satellite 3. These six blocks of satellite DNA appear to form contiguous arrays with little intervening DNA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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