Organization and evolution of alpha satellite DNA from human chromosome 11
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The human alpha satellite repetitive DNA family is organized as distinct chromosomal subsets located at the centromeric regions of each human chromosome. Here, we describe a subset of the alpha satellite which is localized to human chromosome 11. The principal unit of repetition of this alpha satellite subset is an 850 bp XbaI fragment composed of five tandem diverged alphoid monomers, each approximately 171 bp in length. The pentamer repeat units are themselves tandemly reiterated, present in approximately 500 copies per chromosome 11. In filter hybridization experiments, the Alpha11 probes are specific for the centromeric alpha satellite sequences of human chromosome 11. The complete nucleotide sequences of two independent copies of the XbaI pentamer reveal a pentameric configuration shared with the alphoid repeats of chromosomes 17 and X, consistent with the existence of an ancestral pentameric repeat common to the centromeric arrays of at least these three human chromosomes.
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