Human Genetics

, Volume 93, Issue 1, pp 35–41 | Cite as

Expression of (cac)n/(gtg)n simple repetitive sequences in mRNA of human lymphocytes

  • Cornelia Epplen
  • Jörg T. Epplen
Original Investigations


Di- and trinucleotide tandem repeat sequences are ubiquitously interspersed and are often polymorphic in the human genome. We have analyzed the transcription of simple (cac)n/(gtg)n repeats in the cDNA of RNA from human lymphocytes. When using such motifs as probes in RNA hybridization experiments, distinct signals are scarcely demonstrable. In order to investigate mRNA sequences that contain such simple repeats, 1 million phage clones from cDNA libraries were screened with the probe (CAC)5. From 50 hybridizing phages, 38 clones were successfully isolated and characterized. The lengths of the transcripts ranged from 120 bp to 3.5 kb. More than 15 different additional simple repeat motifs were found immediately next to or distant to the (cac)n/(gtg)n repeat. In 12 clones, significant homologies were identified with a wide variety of unrelated genes, such as a processed pseudogene of human ubiquitin, serin protease inhibitor genes, a gene candidate from yeast, and sequence-tagged sites of man and mouse. Of the clones, 18% represented mRNA of MHC class I promotor binding protein; 79% displayed novel single copy sequences or partial similarity to many different organelle and nuclear genomes of animal, fungal, bacterial, and viral sequences. These data indicate that short (cac)n/(gtg)n stretches (n ≲ (6) are sometimes contained in open reading frames, but more often in the 3′ and 5′ untranslated portions of mature mRNAs. Longer stretches of perfect simple (cac)n/(gtg)n repeats can rarely be recovered, even from the hnRNA of human lymphocytes.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cornelia Epplen
    • 1
  • Jörg T. Epplen
    • 1
  1. 1.Molekulare Humangenetik, MA, Ruhr-Universität BochumBochumGermany

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