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Keywords:

  • fragile site;
  • FRA6H;
  • FRA13E;
  • genomic instability;
  • chromosome rearrangements

Abstract

Fragile sites are specific genomic loci that are especially prone to chromosome breakage. For the human genome there are 31 rare fragile sites and 88 common fragile sites listed in the National Center for Biotechnology Information database; however, the exact number remains unknown. In this study, unstable DNA sequences, which have been previously tagged with a marker gene, were cloned and provided starting points for the characterization of two aphidicolin inducible common fragile sites. Mapping of these unstable regions with six-color fluorescence in situ hybridization revealed two new fragile sites at 6p21 and 13q22, which encompass genomic regions of 9.3 and 3.1 Mb, respectively. According to the fragile site nomenclature they were consequently entitled as FRA6H and FRA13E. Both identified regions are known to be associated with recurrent aberrations in malignant and nonmalignant disorders. It is conceivable that these fragile sites result in genetic damage that might contribute to cancer phenotypes such as osteosarcoma, breast and prostate cancer. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.