The structure of alphoid satellite DNA on normal and abnormal human Y chromosomes
The long-range structure of the Y chromosome alphoid satellite DNA has been determined in the cell lines 3E7 and OXEN. Variation in alphoid DNA block size and restriction enzyme sites were observed. The alphoid block size and restriction enzyme site variations were determined for a collection of 42 normal Y chromosomes. The alphoid DNA polymorphisms observed denned 24 Y chromosome alleles. Unexpectedly, the Y alphoid DNA alleles analysed revealed two distinct groups of Y chromosomes indicating that most of the Caucasian and Asian men analysed were descended from one of two males. The structure of the alphoid DNA was determined for 25 cell lines expected to contain abnormal Y chromosomes. Six of the cell lines lacked Y chromosomes. Four lacked both alphoid DNA and Y a centromere. 13 out of the remaining 15 Y chromosomes had centromeres and Y alphoid DNA block sizes and restriction enzyme site variation similar to that of normal Y chromosome alphoid DNA. Two of the abnormal cell lines had alphoid DNA blocks significantly different from the normal Y alphoid DNA structure. These results confirm that alphoid DNA is located very close to, or at the centromere and make it a prime candidate for a functional mammalian centromere sequence.