CENP-B box sequence
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract CENP-B, a highly conserved centromere-associated protein, binds to α-satellite DNA, the centromeric satellite of primate chromosomes, at a 17-bp sequence, the CENP-B box. By fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with an oligomer specific for the CENP-B box sequence, we have demonstrated the abundance of CENP-B boxes on all chromosomes (except the Y) of humans, chimpanzee, pygmy chimpanzee, gorilla, and orangutan. This sequence motif was not detected in the genomes of other primates, including gibbons, Old and New World monkeys, and prosimians. Our results indicate that the CENP-B box containing subtype of α-satellite DNA may have emerged recently in the evolution of the large-bodied hominoids, after divergence of the phylogenetic lines leading to gibbons and apes; the box is thus on the order of 15–25 million years of age. The rapid process of dispersal and fixation of the CENP-B box sequence throughout the human and great ape genomes is thought to be a consequence of concerted evolution of α-satellite subsets on both homologous and nonhomologous chromosomes.
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