Several cytogenetic alterations affect the distal part of the long arm of human chromosome 15, including recurrent rearrangements between 12p13 and 15q25, which cause congenital fibrosarcoma (CFS). We present here the construction of a BAC/PAC contig map that spans 2 Mb from the neurotrophin-3 receptor (NTRK3) gene region on 15q25.3 to the proximal end of the Bloom's syndrome region on 15q26.1, and the identification of a set of new chromosome 15 duplicons. The contig reveals the existence of several regions of sequence similarity with other chromosomes (6q, 7p, and 12p) and with other 15q cytogenetic bands (15q11-q13 and 15q24). One region of similarity maps on 15q11-q13, close to the Prader-Willi/Angelman syndromes (PWS/ AS) imprinting center. The 12p similar sequence maps on 12p13, at a distance to the ets variant 6 (ETV6) gene that is equivalent on 15q26.1 to the distance to the NTRK3 gene. These two genes are the targets of the CFS recurrent translocations, suggesting that misalignments between these two chromosomes regions could facilitate recombination. The most striking similarity identified is based on a low copy repeat sequence, mainly present on human chromosome 15 (LCR15), which could be considered a newly recognized duplicon. At least 10 copies of this duplicon are present on chromosome 15, mainly on 15q24 and 15q26. One copy is located close to a HERC2 sequence on the distal end of the PWS/AS region, three around the lysyl oxidase-like (LOXL1) gene on 15q24, and three on 15q26, one of which close to the IQ motif containing GTPase-activating protein 1 (IQGAP1) gene on 15q26.1. These LCR15 span between 13 and 22 kb and contain high identities with the golgin-like protein (GLP) and the SH3 domain-containing protein (SH3P18) gene sequences and have the characteristics of duplicons. Because duplicons flank chromosome regions that are rearranged in human genomic disorders, the LCR15 described here could represent new elements of rearrangements affecting different regions of human chromosome 15q.
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