Sheep/human comparative map in a chromosome region involved in scrapie incubation time shows multiple breakpoints between human chromosomes 14 and 15 and sheep chromosomes 7 and 18

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A chromosome region involved in scrapie incubation time was identified on sheep chromosome 18 (OAR18). Since OAR18 (and OAR7) share conserved chromosome segments with human chromosomes HSA14 and HSA15, a dense map of type I markers was constructed by FISH mapping of bacterial artificial chromosomes containing genes located on these human chromosomes. In this study, we used the complete human sequence information (gene positions in megabases, Mb) to locate approximately one gene every 2 Mb on HSA15 (19 genes mapped between 19.51 and 66.02 Mb) and on HSA14 (11 genes between 73.24 and 102.62 Mb). Combined with previous work carried out in cattle and goats, our results made it possible to refine the comparative map between ruminants and humans for these two highly rearranged chromosomes (10 segments on HSA15 and 7 on HSA14). Furthermore, we identified relatively short intervals containing evolutionary breakpoints, which is a prerequisite to position them precisely. This work is also the first step in the cloning of the region involved in scrapie incubation period in sheep.

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