Pulsed electrophoresis was used to study the organization of the human centromeric region. Genomic DNA was digested with rare-cutting enzymes. DNA fragments from 0.2 to greater than 5.7 Mb were separated by electrophoresis and hybridized with alphoid and simple DNA repeats. Rare-cutting enzymes (Mlu I, Nar I, Not I, Nru I, Sal I, Sfi I, Sst II) demonstrated fewer restriction sites at centromeric regions than elsewhere in the genome. The enzyme Not I had the fewest restriction sites at centromeric regions. As much as 70% of these sequences from the centromeric region are present in Not I DNA fragments greater than 5.7 and estimated to be as large as 10 Mb in size. Other repetitive sequences such as short interspersed repeated segments (SINEs), long interspersed repeated segments (LINEs), ribosomal DNA, and minisatellite DNA that are not enriched at the centromeric region, are not enriched in Not I fragments of greater than 5.7 Mb in size.
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