, Volume 67, Issue 3, pp 317-325

Sex chromosome positions in human interphase nuclei as studied by in situ hybridization with chromosome specific DNA probes

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Two cloned repetitive DNA probes, pXBR and CY1, which bind preferentially to specific regions of the human X and Y chromosome, respectively, were used to study the distribution of the sex chromosomes in human lymphocyte nuclei by in situ hybridization experiments. Our data indicate a large variability of the distances between the sex chromosomes in male and female interphase nuclei. However, the mean distance observed between the X and Y chromosome was significantly smaller than the mean distance observed between the two X-chromosomes. The distribution of distances determined experimentally is compared with three model distributions of distances, and the question of a non-random distribution of sex chromosomes is discussed. Mathematical details of these model distributions are provided in an Appendix to this paper. In the case of a human translocation chromosome (Xqter→Xp22.2::Yq11→Y qter) contained in the Chinese hamster x human hybrid cell line 445 x 393, the binding sites of pXBR and CY1 were found close to each other in most interphase nuclei. These data demonstrate the potential use of chromosome-specific repetitive DNA probes to study the problem of interphase chromosome topography.