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Genomics. 1998 Apr 15;49(2):283-9.

Structure and organization of the RBMY genes on the human Y chromosome: transposition and amplification of an ancestral autosomal hnRNPG gene.

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Division of Medical Genetics, Harbor-ULCA Medical Center, Torrance, California 90502, USA.


The RBMY (RNA-binding motif, Y chromosome) gene family encodes a germ-cell-specific nuclear protein implicated in spermatogenesis. It consists of approximately 30 genes and pseudogenes, found on both arms of the Y chromosome. RBMY shares high homology with an autosomal hnRNPG gene that contains an RNA-binding motif and one of the four SRGY repeats found in RBMY. One proposal is that RBMY represents an ancestral hnRNPG gene, transposed to the Y chromosome and then amplified. We characterized seven RBMY genes in interval 6 of the Y chromosome long arm. Four have the normal structure with 12 exons spanning 15 kb, whereas one lacks the first 3 exons, therefore representing a pseudogene. The remaining two genes belong to a different subfamily, resembling the autosomal hnRNPG gene with only one SRGY repeat. We also found that most RBMY genes in interval 6 are arranged in tandem. The structure and organization of the Y-linked RBMY genes support the transposition-amplification hypothesis.

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