Isolation of DNA from the centromere of human chromosome 7 by microdissection

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Centromeres remain the least characterized regions of human chromosomes because they have a very high content of repetitive DNA. Here, we describe a microdissection library from the centromeric region of human chromosome 7 and its use for generating sequence tagged sites (STSs). The library contains about 1500 clones with an average insert size of 150 bp and only about 15% of the clones harbour repetitive human DNA. Seven clones hybridizing to alphoid DNA were found to correspond to a fragment of the D7Z2 alphoid array on chromosome 7, thus confirming the origin of the library. A number of clones not containing known repetitive DNA were used to generate STSs that identified yeast artificial chromosomes (YACs) and in turn allowed the STSs to be placed on the physical map. One STS is located between the two Genethon genetic markers closest to the centromere on the q side. Another STS was located 3–4 cM away in 7q11.2, while a third identified YACs containing both low-copy and alphoid sequences that are not yet mapped but are clearly centromeric. The library therefore comprises a collection of sequences from the centromeric region of chromosome 7 that can be used to generate STSs and to map the entire centromeric region.

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