Hotspots of meiotic recombination in the mouse major histocompatibility complex
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Meiotic recombination is not random in the proximal region of the mouse major histocompatibility complex (MHC). It is clustered at four restricted positions, so-called hotspots. Some of the MHC haplotypes derived from Asian wild mice enhance recombination at the hotspots in genetic crosses with standard MHC haplotypes of laboratory mouse strains. In particular, the wm7 haplotype derived from Japanese wild mouse indicated an approximately 2% recombination frequency within a 1.2 kb fragment of DNA in the interval between the Pb and Ob genes. Interestingly, this enhancement of recombination was observed only in female meiosis but not in male meiosis. Mating experiments demonstrated that the wm7 haplotype carries a genetic factor in the region proximal to the hotspot, which instigates recombination. In addition, the wm7 haplotype has a genetic factor located in the region distal to the hotspot, which suppresses recombination. From the molecular characterization of the two hotspots located in the Eb gene and the Pb-Ob interval, it appeared that there are several common molecular elements, the consensus of the middle repetitive MT-family, TCTG or CCTG tetramer repeats, and the solitary long terminal repeat (LTR) of mouse retrovirus.
Key wordsmeiosis recombination hotspot mouse MHC
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