Mammalian recombination hot spot in a DNA loop anchorage region: A model for the study of common fragile sites

V. L. Sylvia, F. Del Toro, D. D. Dean, R. R. Hardin, Z. Schwartz, B. D. Boyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


We analyzed the replication pattern and the topological organization of a 200 kb long Chinese hamster polygenic locus, which spans the boundary of two isochores. One of them is G + C rich while the second one is highly A+T rich. Previous analysis of mutants amplified for this locus had identified, within the A+T rich isochore, a mitotic recombination hotspot and a replication origin separated by some 7 kb. The recombination hotspot exhibits structural features repeatedly observed at common fragile sites, including a typical enrichment in peaks of enhanced DNA helix flexibility. By studying the replication pattern of the same locus in the non-amplified CHO cells, we confirm here the localization of the replication origin and show that the mitotic recombination hotspot does not correspond to a replicon junction. This finding makes questionable current hypotheses correlating replication termination regions with recombination prone sequences. Using topoisomerase II-mediated DNA cleavage at matrix attachment sites we identified a 40 kb-long DNA anchorage region extending all along a transcription unit nested within the A+T rich isochore. Both the recombination hotspot and the replication origin lie within this topoisomerase II sensitive region, which suggests that features essential for initiation of recombination and initiation of DNA replication cluster within DNA anchorage regions. Features common to this region and to common fragile sites are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-178
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Issue numberSUPPL. 36
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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