Linkage studies of polymorphic, repeated DNA sequences in centromeric regions of human chromosomes

E. W. Jabs, D. A. Meyers, W. B. Bias

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18 Scopus citations


The DNA at human centromeric regions was characterized using a r epetitive sequence, 308, which localizes in situ exclusively to centromeres of all chromosomes. We previously noted that this sequence is enriched on chromosome 6 and has chromosome-specific organization on 6, 3, 7, 14, X, and Y. In addition to this basic organization, sequences homologous to 308 are polymorphic among normal individuals. The variants are transmitted in a Mendelian manner within a family. To determine the chromosome origin of the variants, we studied their linkage to markers of various chromosomes. Linkage analysis of one pedigree segregating two polymorphisms shows that the 2.6-kilobase (kb) BamHI and 2.6-kb TaqI fragments are linked to each other and to the HLA loci on chromosome 6. Data from another family shows that 2.8-kb TaqI, 4.0-kb TaqI, and 1.3-kb BamHI polymorphic fragments are linked and are probably near the Fy locus on chromosome 1. By dot blot analysis, we determined that the relative amount of these sequences in the genome is not measurably different between unrelated individuals. Thus, the polymorphisms represent changes in homologous 308 sequences on specific chromosomes and can be used as chromosome-specific markers. Linkage studies using polymorphisms of repeated sequences will be most useful within a kindred, especially from an inbred population, because polymorphic repeats of the same restriction size may be heterogeneous in origin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-308
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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